Introducing: Hackney Pirates

The Hackney Pirates is an enterprising charity working to develop the literacy, confidence and perseverance of young people in Hackney, so that they achieve both in school and in the world beyond.

They work with young people aged 9-12 whose teachers think they would benefit from some extra support. The Young Pirates go to their Ship of Adventures after school – it is a weird and wonderful out-of-school learning environment complete with secret passageways, an underwater cave and a ship’s cat. Here, they receive some help on their reading through targeted reading support programmes.

The Clothes Club first worked with Hackney Pirates in 2013 when we raised some funds for them at a Clothes Swap event.

Catriona Mackey – Founder of Hackney Pirates

Catriona Maclay trained as a ‘Teach First’ teacher in Edmonton. As subject leader for Citizenship she developed and implemented a school-wide active Citizenship curriculum to give young people the knowledge and practical experience they need to be informed, critical and engaged citizens. Catriona has also worked at Ashoka, the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, where she led the Venture programme to select and support leading social entrepreneurs in the UK. Catriona is the Captain of The Hackney Pirates, which she set up with friends and collaborators in 2010 to support young people in developing their literacy, confidence and perseverance.

On working with The Clothes Club…

When The Clothes Club contacted us it seemed like a great idea – a nice social way of bringing in some extra funds for our charity. The event had a lovely atmosphere and was run by really friendly and motivated people.

The Clothes Club raised £850 from two events for Hackney Pirates! This is a fantastic amount, and helped support our learning programme with young people. It was a really significant contribution to our work, and was also such a great example of volunteer initiative and creativity. Thanks for thinking of it in the first place, and for making it such a success! The money helped us print a guidebook the children created, the printing cost was about £5 per book and it was sold for £10.

Catriaona’s favourite piece of 2nd hand clothing

A second hand flamenco dress! (It doesn’t get used too often…)

For more information on Hackney Pirates and what they do visit

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