Connect Hackney

Over the past 6 months, Hackney elders have been sharing their stories – about love, work, change, prejudice, loneliness, pride and resilience. 

Connect Hackney has spoken to people from Hackney’s diverse communities, including disabled people, LGBTQ+, Senegalese, Nigerian, British, American and Chinese. These previously untold stories are being documented through a series of short films and a commemorative booklet.

Harold Rubin, aged 92 and originally from New York, has been a Hackney resident since 1970. Reflecting on a life lived to the full including a career as an interior and architectural designer, art gallery owner and part time journalist, he comments:

“You can do quite a lot if you start at 17 and reach 92.” Remembering his childhood in the Bronx he continues: “I experienced some pretty awful things as a child which is unfortunately what one is seeing here now – with attacking people and being abusive and insulting.”

This is our second Generations publication, the first in 2018 was Windrush: Stories of a Hackney Generation. Click here to see previous publication.

Connect Hackney is a £5.8million project funded by the National Lottery Community Fund as part of their national Ageing Better programme. The project delivers a range of projects and activities that are a chance for people over 50 in Hackney to meet people, socialise and have fun. Connect Hackney seeks to portray the positive contributions older people make to society and challenges social isolation and ageism.

Tony Wong, Programme Director for Connect Hackney, says:

“The stories featured in the commemorative booklet and short films, provide an opportunity for the voices of the people behind each story to be heard, both now and for generations to come. The more we understand about each other, the more opportunities we create for barriers to be broken down and for new social connections to be formed, reducing levels of isolation and loneliness amongst our older population, one of the most at risk groups. 

By sharing their stories, we hope older people can be seen for the full person they are, not just who they may appear to be today, and be valued, respected, and more able to lead more fulfilling lives. I hope by sharing these stories, people living and working in Hackney are inspired to continue to celebrate the diversity the borough holds amongst its older population.”

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