Our work in Hackney
Hackney is Renaisi’s home borough. We have always worked here, and we have an unparalleled understanding of the strategic context, nuanced challenges and opportunities the area faces. In short, we care deeply about making Hackney a place where everyone can thrive.
The London Borough of Hackney has undergone enormous change in the last 20 years. It is now one of the most desirable places to live in the UK, and most people would agree that it has improved.
The challenge Hackney now faces, with its rocketing house prices and hipster reputation, is one of equity. Inequality is widening in the borough and has increased after years of austerity and welfare reform. The Council acknowledge that maintaining strong, cohesive, healthy communities in the face of that inequality, is one of its most difficult tasks.
Renaisi exists to create the conditions for strong, inclusive communities to thrive and there’s nowhere we’re more passionate about applying our expertise.
Our history of working in Hackney
Founded by Hackney Council in 1998, Renaisi has since established itself as an independent social enterprise based in the borough.
Originally, we delivered programmes seeking to regenerate deprived neighbourhoods. Then became part of the consortium that delivered Big Local and worked with organisations across the voluntary sector to ensure the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park delivers against its legacy. Renaisi is a founding member of Our Parklife Community Interest Company, a social enterprise on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park designed to help deliver the legacy of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games. Our Parklife is a truly innovative joint venture being the first CIC to bring together skills and experience from the private, charitable and social enterprise sectors in one organisation.
For the last decade or so, Renaisi has delivered programmes that support Hackney residents into work. First through the Hackney Works programme, and now through our Refugees Into Sustainable Employment and Inspiring Families employment and advice services.
Current work in Hackney
Much of our current work in Hackney focuses on developing a more inclusive economy.
Inspired by successful anchor schemes from the United States, in 2019 we launched the City & Hackney Anchor Collaborative. Anchors are typically – though not exclusively – not for profit organisations that are based in a city or town and are unlikely to move location, usually because their purpose and mission is intrinsically bound up in that area. The Collaborative brings together local anchors, including the CCG and the Council, to test solutions to local issues.
The benefit of the anchor model is that it allows sharing of best practice, pooling of resource and expertise, and cooperation on issues that require a whole-system approach.
Renaisi also delivers employment and advice services for some of the most marginalised communities in the borough. The RISE programme supports refugees and migrants into sustainable employment, by helping participants to settle into the community, build relationships and access services. The Inspiring Families programme is designed to address the barriers parents face in finding work.
This combination of on-the-ground delivery and strategic work within the local system gives Renaisi’s team a unique insight into the opportunities and challenges Hackney faces.