Josh Babarinde, founder of Cracked It

Meet Josh Babarinde, founder of Cracked It, Year Here Fellow, living on the Brownfield Estate in Poplar.

SAY IT! Tell us about Cracked It

Josh At Cracked It, we deliver programmes training young people between the ages of 16 and 25 to repair cracked iPhone screens. We also teach them how to go out and sell their skills, and flex their entrepreneurial muscles.

SAY IT! How did Cracked It start?

Josh Cracked It started with a £25 cheque from a lovely 73 year old local lady called Maureen. I met Maureen near All Saints DLR. She had had a fall due after being knocked down by a young person and had a bleeding head injury. We called an ambulance and stayed with her for an hour or so until she was taken to hospital. As she was taken away she asked for my address. Weeks later I received a cheque in the post. She wanted to say thank you.

It was a really unexpected gesture and I wanted to do something with it, and that is how Cracked It was born. I decided the programme should be aimed at preventing the very kind of anti-social behaviour that Maureen was a victim of that evening.

SAY IT! How did you do that with £25? It doesn’t sound like a lot…

Josh Sure, £25 doesn’t sound like a lot, but with a lot of resourcefulness and hustle, it was enough to start a programme! We also have great volunteers that allow the programme to be possible. We are supported by volunteers from iCracked who train our young people to repair cracked iPhone screens. They provide the technical knowledge and expertise and we couldn’t do it without them.

SAY IT! iPhone screens – that seems really specific

Josh Yes it is! We want to give young people a valuable skill that they can use throughout their lives. We place a particular emphasis on working with those who need a second chance. We help divert them away from gangs, crime and anti-social behaviour. A lot of existing programmes out there are quite traditional – they focus on construction or catering for example. These programmes work for a lot of young people, but our intervention targets the young people who want to do something different. We want to use tech to improve the employability the next generation, and illuminate enterprise as a credible route into work.

STATS about iPhone users:

  • There are 3 million iPhone users in London
  • Approximately 1 in 4 iPhones have a cracked screen at this moment in time
  • Each year, 1 in 10 of us smash our smartphone screens!

The skills we teach allow young people to develop a sense of self-worth – there is a need for their skills and they are adding to society. They are able to build an income, for 40 minutes work they can make £20 profit. We also create a sense of belonging as graduates return and mentor other young people and become a part of the Cracked It family. We believe that helping young people build their self-worth, a way to create an income, and a sense of belonging will combat the need to join a gang.

Josh is from Eastbourne originally and studied politics at LSE. He moved out to Poplar when on the Year Here programme and has found a strong sense of community that was missing in Central London. He is a trustee for the African Health Policy Network. In 2015 he started chairing the board for Stop & Search monitoring in Tower Hamlets. He also works part time for the new app Village focussing on Community Engagement.

At only 22 Josh is extremely accomplished and we are looking forward to seeing what he does next in Poplar!


You can read more about Cracked It on their website and get in touch with Josh about his work at