The Beyond Boundaries Project
On Wednesday 31st August, The Beyond Boundaries Partnership, a social mobility initiative aimed at young people in regeneration areas, launched ‘The rebuilding of the Ark’ at Tottenham’s Somerford Grove Adventure Playground, with local MP David Lammy.
As the country struggles to grapple with its housing crisis, the rush to regenerate neighbourhoods all too often sees large scale investment pass local young people by. Five years on after the Tottenham riots, ‘Beyond Boundaries’ is doing something different; taking the long view by building skills and increasing opportunities for young people living in Tottenham’s Northumberland Park, and seeking to create future pathways into education and employment.
Locally anchored by Haringey Play Association and delivered by youth charity Risk Agency, Beyond Boundaries was formed by Architects HTA Design and regeneration consultants Newman-Francis and builds on activities started in 2012 in the area.
‘As architects and designers we know that regeneration is about people as well as buildings and place-making and we are working with partners to help enable social mobility in areas like Tottenham that are earmarked for physical transformation.’ Mike De’Ath, HTA Design LLP
‘Somerford Grove Adventure Playground is one of few places in this fast changing city that really reflects and supports its wealth of diversity. Without the trust Haringey Play Association hold in this neighbourhood there’s no way we could have done this project’ Huan Rimington, Risk Agency.
Young people in regeneration areas rarely have the awareness or capacity to benefit from the opportunities created by investment in the built environment. Even the brightest often lack the family, social or education networks that feature profoundly in accessing careers and professions. Regeneration can take 10, 15 years or even longer. In this time a child can start and leave education , indeed multiple generations of young people may grow up oblivious or unable to access jobs beyond contractor and contract related programmes, mostly aimed at trades and site based work. 'Beyond Boundaries' is an initiative started by HTA Design LLP and Newman Francis to collaborate with local charities to work with children before and throughout their school career, creating opportunities for engagement, work experience, further education and ultimately work.
We are realistic about timescales and intend small, achievable steps towards an ambitious outcome, developing solid relationships with organisations that know young people best, trying out concepts and ideas, gaining confidence in the basic premise and our ability to fundraise and deliver. The biggest contribution we can make is through opening our networks to kids, fundraising and collaborating with more established charities to deliver a joined up programme.