Homerton Library opened its doors to emerging talent from across Hackney last night for Insightful Minds – an evening of music and spoken word. The event was organised by our amazing Positive Futures London volunteer, Shinelle.

Positive Futures London empowers young people to do something worthwhile in their community and Shinelle embraced her role as event organiser to encourage young people in Hackney to feel an increased sense of ownership of the library space.

Insightful Minds

Local volunteers Lulia and Tia stepped up to host the event. Acts included Twin Two, Phenomenal K and young people from The Concorde Centre, who performed tracks inspired by conversation, poetry and video games.

Held in collaboration with local organisations including Hackney Council library services, Think Forward and The Concorde Centre, the event inspired a group of young people to form a book club – something they had never done before.

They told the audience about their experience of reading Prisoner to the Streets by Robyn Travis, a young novelist who writes about postcode wars in East London. One reader said “I actually enjoyed reading a book that I could relate to. It’s made me think about others I could read.”

For Shinelle, a young person out of work, this was a boost for her personally. She said:

“Volunteering has given me the confidence needed to take pride in the work I do. I often had low self-esteem which caused me to push away opportunities because I lacked belief. However since volunteering, my thoughts on my work and also myself are so much more positive.

“My time in volunteering has been mind-blowing and definitely worthwhile. I could truly say that I have taken more than I’ve given. I absolutely recommend volunteering for many young people my age.”