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Ambition, Aspire, Achieve, influential children's charity in Canning Town, to expand to Stratford site

PUBLISHED: 11:42 10 August 2018

Tesco staff Kane Ovid, Naveed Alan, Audrey Humes and Rolando Clarke helping to renovate the new hub. Picture: Ken Mears

Tesco staff Kane Ovid, Naveed Alan, Audrey Humes and Rolando Clarke helping to renovate the new hub. Picture: Ken Mears

Archant

Children's charity Ambition, Aspire, Achieve is opening a second site in Stratford.

The garden, which is in the process of being tidied up. Picture: Ken MearsThe garden, which is in the process of being tidied up. Picture: Ken Mears

The charity has been helping disadvantaged children in Newham since 2016, when it opened its first hub in Hermit Road Park in Canning Town.

On August 30, it’ll officially open its new space in Gay Road, near Abbey Road Station.

“There’s nothing there for youngsters at the moment,” founder Kevin Jenkins said.

“The area is quite cut off – on one side you’ve got the River Lee, and at the bottom you’ve got the big Thames Water site.

The site was a former three-bed house. Picture: Ken MearsThe site was a former three-bed house. Picture: Ken Mears

“It’s made up mostly of family housing, so we’ll be there to serve them.”

AAA have a 10-year lease on the former three-bed house, which is owned by Thames Water.

Renovations began in Easter.

“We’ve converted the inside of the house into a space for young people,” Kevin said.

Volunteers from Turner and Townsend. Picture: AAAVolunteers from Turner and Townsend. Picture: AAA

“But the outside is still in the process of being brought up to scratch. We’ve got it usable, but the gardens were quite overgrown when we got it.

“We’re beginning to do things in a slow way.”

The outside space will be used for environmental education – Kevin’s hoping to have a beehive and areas where children can grow plants.

The work’s been done by local volunteers, with organisations including Tesco, Westfield and Turner and Townsend having all pitched in so far.

Founder Kevin Jenkins is hoping the site will be finished by August 30, when it'll be officially opened. Picture: AAAFounder Kevin Jenkins is hoping the site will be finished by August 30, when it'll be officially opened. Picture: AAA

Kevin said the site will serve a similar purpose to the Hermit Road Park base – just on a smaller scale.

“It’s about creating meaningful contact for young people,” he said.

“It’ll be a full-time facility, and we’ll be putting more of a focus on risk work as well.

“That’ll be more intensive work with children in greater need.”

Eventually there'll be an adventure playground, as well as environmental projects including a beehive. Picture: AAAEventually there'll be an adventure playground, as well as environmental projects including a beehive. Picture: AAA

Since June, a Saturday play project and after school club has been running at the new site, and they’ll continue when the children go back to school in September.

Once it’s completed, there’ll be more resources and funding to increase the number of clubs, introduce a soft play area and an adventure playground.

The charity is still in need of donations, including plants, vegetation and tools, or volunteers if people are willing to give their time. For more information, contact kevin@theaaazone.com.

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