This is the Hello Hackney drop-in blog

This is your new drop-in blog — a place for your suggestions, brainwaves, photos, recipes — anything you would like to share or show.

The blog posts are all on this page — to see them, scroll down as far as you can. Then, if you see a button labelled ‘OLDER POSTS’, click on it, and you will get some more.

To contribute (and see all the private posts) all you have to do is log in — if you are not sure how to do that, please ask a helper to explain — it’s really very easy. Everybody who wants a login gets one. Just ask Rick or Tom to set you up — it’s a one-minute task.

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What’s on today? Recommended blog posts 50 things to do The podcast

Return of the Laptop Café

New laptops in the Community Room

Escape from the IT Room

We are finally out of the tiny IT Room that has space for only 8 people. We have expanded into the much larger Community Room with 9 new laptops, and space for you, your laptop, and 20 other people.

So on Wednesday mornings, the Community Room is the 50+ Laptop Café (the name we used at The Lawns computer centre and Piccadilly Community Centre). That’s in addition to the large Meeting Room that we have been using for about 2 years. Now we can accommodate about 40 people in two large spaces. connected by the garden and the kitchen.

The new laptops are all Chromebooks — very fast, very safe and very easy — giving us instant access to the Internet — and exactly what we need to resume workshops and short courses (or at least prove to potential funders that we can do it).

Laptop Workshop in the Laptop Café (Wed 22 August)

How to use the Internet safely at the drop-in

This is easy to explain. We have stopped using the tiny IT Room at Whitmore Community Centre, and started using the large Community Room instead. It has space for at least 20 people, and on Wednesday mornings it becomes the 50+ Laptop Café, because that is where we set up our new laptops, and where you can bring yours.

We think next Wednesday morning (22 August) would be a good time to offer a workshop about how to use our classy new Chromebook laptops. They are actually easy to use, and very safe, but we know that most people feel more relaxed about something new if they have had a guide.

Who should come: anybody who uses drop-in computers on Wednesday morning, and anyone else who would like some hands-on practice with a Chromebook.

We can take eight people on this first workshop. If you would like to be one of them, please tell us as soon as you can.

When and where

Did you come to this country on a boat?

Hello Hackney podcast,
Tuesday 21 August, 2 to 4 pm

Did you come on a boat (any boat)? What can you remember about the journey? We have heard some great stories about the actual ocean journey from the Caribbean, and the ports you might have visited on the way. Tell us what happened on the boat, what you did, where the boat went, about friendships formed, lives changed — whatever has stuck in your mind.

We are inviting people who can still remember anything about that trip to share their story at our next podcast session in St Mary’s Secret Garden, Hoxton. The presenter will be Newton Dunbar, who has his own extensive story repertoire.

Although the garden is large, seating for the podcast session is limited and we have space only for people with boat stories — but if you come with a boat story, we will find a place for you.

The session will start at 2 pm.

  • St Mary’s Secret Garden,
    50 Pearson Street, E2 8EL
  • On the corner of Pearson St and Appleby St (5 minute walk from Whitmore Community Centre)
  • Bus stops: Pearson St or Geffrye Museum
  • Train station: Hoxton
  • Map:

If you would like more information first, please email to

The new Hello Hackney podcast project

The Friday podcast series has ended

The next podcast project has begun.

The new podcast base is St Mary’s Secret Garden – usually on Tuesday afternoons. It is a new project, not the same project in a different location

  • The podcast sessions will be pop-ups, not drop-in events – so they won’t necessarily happen every week.
  • The smaller, more intimate, space in the Secret Garden will match our need for more contemplative conversations.
  • Some of the tightly-focussed sessions might be invitation only, and not publicised in advance.

If you would like to propose a topic in which you have a special interest or knowledge, please tell Rick or Sallie about it (or email to )

To keep in touch with the podcast project and its social inclusion purpose, please make sure we have your email address, mobile phone number (for text messages) or landline number. Email address is best if you check it at least once each week.

Where is St Mary’s Secret Garden?

  • 50 Pearson Street, E2 8EL
  • On the corner of Pearson St and Appleby St (5 minute walk from Whitmore Community Centre)
  • Bus stops: Pearson St or Geffrye Museum
  • Train station: Hoxton
  • Map:


while you are growing learn all that you can or you will be sorry when you are a man.

labour for learning before you grow old for learning is better than silver and gold.

silver and gold will vanish away but a good education will never decay.


Unity is strength where we all work together in love and peace because we are part of the same family regardless of what nation you come from.  This is planet earth.  One day we are going to leave it it to next generation.

50+ Pop-Up Internet Café

Our Wednesday morning program for August and September is the ‘50+ Pop-Up Internet Café’ — the same as before but with more space and more people.

The Friday afternoon podcast series has ended. The next podcast series will be Tuesday afternoon pop-ups, not drop-in events – so they won’t necessarily happen every week. The new podcast venue will be St Mary’s Secret Garden (50 Pearson St, Hoxton E2 8EL — not far from Whitmore Community Centre).

Meet Miss Alison Kakande, again

Hello Hackney podcast,
Friday 27 July, 2 to 4 pm

Fabulous Miss Alison Kakande returns for one more talk show. In her own words …

The majority of the people you encounter on a day to day basis, out and about, at work or on your commute, have a story. Some might wish to share it and some might decide to listen. Miss Kakande is tired of Hollywood endings, contrived storylines, and morality lessons, aren’t you?

Voices of… is a series of events and one to one conversations with the local community starting in the heart of Hackney. This all began as a talk show project in 2015. It has since evolved into Voices Of…

Voices Of… was born from the listening and sharing of the untold stories in their rawest form.”

But we are just as interested in what you have to say. That’s what the podcast is for – older people talking about what they know.

Please bring your voice to Whitmore Community Centre on Friday afternoon.


We are editing this episode now.