Clapton, Hackney graphic designer and mother of three, Minna Harrison has recently completed a programme which allows local children to rate their favourite places in the area to take school trips to. 

Dubbed Hackney Wow, the programme was co-helmed by Harrison, local poet Michael Rosen, and two hundred and forty pupils from Rushmore Primary School, the institution Minna’s three daughters all attend. Other noteworthy figures of the area include artist Emily Tracy, illustrators Becky Baur and Liz Loveless and photographers Gideon Mendel and Crispin Hughes, all of whom joined along the way, making up an exciting and diverse working group. Their common goal was to devise a guide to Hackney made by kids and for kids, in order to ensure that school trips are always as interesting and exciting as they can be. 

Funding for this initiative came chiefly from the Rushmore Parents’ and Teachers’ Association, with added money coming from the Big Lottery Fund. These donations allowed Ms Harrison and the children from the primary school to explore eleven locations around Hackney and unearth their lesser-known secrets, therefore proving that it is not always necessary to go a long away to have interesting school trips. That much is hinted at on the project’s official website, which boasts an introduction talking about crocodiles in the local River Lea, lion tamers in Stoke Newington, and even a special shop for monsters in Hoxton Street! 

Minna also ran a second edition of this programme, this time allowing a dozen children from Rushmore and Colvestone Primary Schools to review the Dalston Children’s Festival, which took place in May. On this occasion, she was once again assisted by a couple of local luminaries, in this case journalist Emma Cox and writer and photographer Helena Smith. 

Photos from this initiative will be exhibited at Dalston CLR James Library later this year. 

To book school trips, contact School Travel Service at or call them on 0870 240 6828.