Voices of Change

History told by the people who make it!

Voices of Change seeks to collect oral histories from Newham and Hackney residents to acknowledge and celebrate the diverse and multicultural makeup of our boroughs.

In cooperation with Newham Archives and Hackney Museum and Archives, we want to elevate local voices and shed light on the migrant communities who have shaped and transformed the local area.

Enriching Local Records

Voices of Change are looking for interviewees from Newham and Hackney who would like to share their personal family and community stories, whether this be about a shop, a business, a community centre or just your own experience. Volunteers from our Production Club will record these stories through personal interviews. With the help of broadcast professionals and Newham and Hackney Archives, we will produce heritage podcasts and audio documentaries to be digitally stored and shared with the wider public.

Sharing Local History

The aim of Voices of Change is to record local history and make it accessible to the wider community – the generations who contributed to it and those who will shape East London in the future.

Our production volunteers will create engaging audio features that can appeal to the broader public, in and beyond Newham and Hackney. The stories will be shared and distributed via podcast platforms and the websites and digital channels of Newham and Hackney.

Both boroughs have collected and acquired a wealth of material over the years. However, many local communities remain undocumented or less represented – Voices of Change aims to get these voices heard.

Contributing to Newham’s new heritage space, which is planned to open by 2026, Voices of Change will support Newham Archive in their ongoing work to grow and diversify their collections to be truly representative of Newham’s communities.

Voices of Change - a project by immediate theatre

Immediate Theatre has been providing free opportunities for East Londoners to get involved in quality arts and culture activities for over 25 years. Based in Hackney, we work closely with local organisations, schools, and community groups to engage children and adults in creative projects that inspire well-being, break down barriers, and encourage personal growth.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we launched Hackney Social Radio, a weekly community radio show ‘for the young at heart’ with the aim to engage and inform older residents. The show's success encouraged the launch of our follow-up project, Hackney Social Audio. Episodes were produced by community volunteers of Immediate Theatre’s 55+ Production Club, who received training and support from professional radio broadcasters and audio technicians.

Aimed at sharing stories from the community, local heritage became a key area of interest amongst listeners and contributors of Hackney Social Audio. As Immediate Theatre is expanding its cultural offer and programmes to Newham, Voices of Change will allow us to build on our previous work in audio broadcasting and help Newham and Hackney Archives to bring local histories to life.

Join the Production Team!

Voices of Change not only aims to collect the oral histories of Newham and Hackney residents – community members will also play a key role in producing, editing, and distributing these audio records.

Immediate Theatre and Voices of Change are looking for volunteers aged 55 years or above who would like to join our Production Club and help interview fellow community members.

You will be supported and trained by a team of professional archivists, historians, and broadcasters who will help us to make engaging podcast stories appealing to young and old alike.

Join the Production Team