A volunteering centre has helped to transform a youth hostel in Brixton with an extreme makeover, Action4London took on its most ambitious project to date at the youth hostel in Landor Road.
Action4London describes itself as the volunteering outreach arm of the London Kabbalah Centre, which says it aims to affect positive change in the most disadvantaged areas of the city. The organisation works closely with London’s councils, charities and social enterprises to provide municipal support for underprivileged communities.
In 2015, A4L volunteers shared more than 50,000 hours of their time. They say they not only provide the support and tools for disadvantaged groups which need to transform their lives, but also empower them with the resources to take a shared responsibility for the world around them.
On Sunday more than 50 Action4London volunteers joined together to transform the hostel through an Extreme Community Makeover – a hostel for nine teenage boys who no longer have any parental support and were pretty much left to their own devices.
In a similar premise to the US and UK TV series, A4L volunteers and a professional construction team visit disadvantaged post codes and build community spaces.
On Sunday, the 50 A4L volunteers spent the entire day building a community space at the back of the property, equipped with a basketball hoop, table tennis table, gazebo and plant patches, and also refurbished all the communal areas.
A spokesman for the group said: “Through creating a home and a space where the young boys could come together, the A4L volunteers provided the nine teenage boys with a designated social ‘space’ which will encourage them to form deeper friendships and relationships – their own area where support networks and a sense of community can flourish. This ultimately creates a greater sense of fulfilment and happiness for those who may be struggling.
“According to research by Rise, one in eight people in the UK do not have a close friend. By providing spaces where people can socialise and create their own support networks, we can build a greater sense of community for London’s most disadvantaged people.
“A4L underscores the importance of Londoners sharing with Londoners and, in so doing, enhances the sense of responsibility we should all have for our London community.
“The message A4L wish to send out to fellow Londoners through this project is: “Let’s get out there and start sharing with one another to make London flourish.”