St Oswald’s West End Centre
West End Centre is situated in Little Horton ward of Bradford.
Little Horton Ward has an overall status as one of the most deprived wards in England.
Deprivation scores are as follows .
* Income levels high deprivation
* Employment levels high deprivation
* Health high deprivation
* Education medium deprivation
* Housing Low deprivation
* Crime Extremely high deprivation
* Living environment extremely high deprivation.
Lack of housing is not a problem for the residents but the standard of housing is extremely low and the infrastructure and amenities have fallen into disrepair.
There is in the area a population of approx 22,000
* 28.75% are white
* 48.49% are Pakistani
* 2.79% are Indian
* 5.4% are from Afro-Caribbean origins
* 2.9% are from Chinese origins.
* 11.93% are mixed race
The centres attendance figures show that 54% of people using the Centre are White and the remainder a mixture of ethnic minority groups.
The population has the following issues
* 12% has poor health
* 6.5% are limited by long term illnesses
* 38% have no qualifications
Of the working population
* 46% are economically inactive
* 10% are permanently sick
Of those who are economically inactive
* 13% had not worked since 1991
* 29% had never worked.
We have now reached a situation that we have third generation unemployed residents from families who have never worked.
The Centre was set up in the church of St Oswald’s Bradford in 2005 funded by European Regional Development Fund. The funding permitted the building of a purpose community centre and provided funding for the initial staff and overhead for the first two years.
“The West End Centre has been funded to develop a small, Measure 1 ERDF Project, (2004-6); the primary purpose of this project was to capacity-build a small organisation in a neighbourhood experiencing multiple disadvantage where there was a dearth of community provision.
The Centre was built within the church as a part of a Reordering initiative which set aside a part of the church for secular activities.
West End was an independent organisation separate from the church and was set up as a voluntary sector community organisation with its own constitution, policies and procedures.
In 2007 The Big Lottery funded a centre manager and 50% of the overheads of the centre. This funding was for 5 years.
The Big Lottery Contract Measures
“The project is to address local needs in Little Horton, Bradford, Yorkshire/Humberside. The organisation will recruit volunteers from local communities to organise activities bringing together groups from different ethnic backgrounds and age ranges. Volunteers will be trained to run the proposed activities with a part-time Volunteer co-ordinator who will be responsible for project delivery within the 'Centre within the church'. The resources include a 'Learning Zone' and a social meeting place. The project will link with local schools, College & Universities, Social services and PCTs plus other local groups to maximise access to the 'hard to reach'. Volunteers will receive accreditation, work experience and expenses.
Initial groups included Groups for the elderly, Lunch club, Arts groups and groups to provide IT and basic skills provision
The initial plan was expanded and developed over the first three years to deal with the needs of the community.
The initial project was restricted to small groups of beneficiaries and as such was not meeting the needs of the community.
It is significant that the 5 year outcomes were achieved by the end of year 3.
It became clear that there was the need to work with a wider client group which included.
* Those with Offending backgrounds
* Other BME Groups
* Refugees and Asylum Seekers
* European Migrants ( Particularly those from eastern European Countries)
* Those with drug and Alcohol problems
* Those with Disabilities Mental and Physical
* Hose with learning Disabilities
* Those with Literacy, Numeracy and ESOL problems
* Those with no vocational or other qualifications.
* Those suffering from social isolation due too age, disability and illness .
To address these needs new provision had to be designed, additional funding identified,
Bids to the following organisations has helped upgrade the facilities of the centre. This money was only available for capital expenditure and was not for staffing costs.
* Streets Ahead
* Grass Roots Grants
* UK Online
During that period the centre manager bid for a number of small pots of capital funding which allowed the centre to equip the I.T. suite with computers, laptops, printers, photocopiers, net books and accessories.
It allowed the main teaching room to be equipped with tables, chairs, furniture and a white board.
It allowed the kitchen to be fully equipped with commercial cooker, fridge, microwaves, cooking equipment, kitchen equipment and café equipment.
The Centre also was successful in obtaining from the Learning Skills Council Community Grants Funding to deliver IT, Literacy and Numeracy and employability skills to those unemployed and not in education or training.
This funded part time staff for 2.5 days per week for a 12 month period.
This funding was applied for and granted on two more occasions.
The Centre entered into partnership with DISC a northern charity to provide a venue to deliver a number of contracts.
The first was the Prolific Persistent Offenders programme funded by Yorkshire Forwards Access 2 Employment initiative.
The first was the Prolific Persistent Offenders programme funded by Yorkshire Forwards Access 2 Employment initiative.
This programme was designed to provide learning, training, job search skills and volunteer placements for the client group on their release from prison moving back into this community.
Disc staff and West-end volunteers worked together to provide this service to the clients.
Disc also provided a First Steps course funded by Job Centre Plus European Social Fund.
Referrals were from the Police and Probation Services but also recruitment was from the local residents of Little Horton and surrounding areas.
This again also provided IT, Lit and Num courses, CSCS cards and Job Search.
Qualifications were provide through Learn Direct e-learning.
139 full level 2 and 3 qualifications were gained by students
Most of the clients on this scheme were particularly interested in volunteer and placement opportunities.
Again Disc provided caseworkers and staff to work with the clients in conjunction with West-end volunteers.
Learn Direct funding came to and end and so that part of two DISC projects needed to be revised.
This involved a new partnership between West End with UK Online.
UK Online were a provider of e- learning qualifications ranging from introductory courses for using the Internet to Microsoft qualification.
West-end applied for and was granted not only UK Online status as a UK Online Centre but also was successful in becoming a Microsoft Academy.
At the end of the Learn Direct contract the centre has worked with 137 clients many of whom gained qualifications and also gained employment.
The new UK online provided the courses that people in the community required and they also provided some capital funding for upgrading both computer equipment and a new interactive Whiteboard.
Following the completion of the Big Lottery provision the Centre was asked to bid for further big lottery funding and was awarded Big Lottery Sustainability Funds and Change and Impact funding.
The centre was also successful in gaining People Health Trust Lottery funding and Near Neighbours funding.
The problem that the centre faced was that the funding permitted short term contracts for staff that were mainly recruited from the volunteer pool and that funding was for specific projects all of which had to be new and innovative. There was no follow up funding for those initiatives.
An application to Henry Smith for another project led them to make the decision to fund the Centre Manager for three years rather than award funding for the project.
The Centre has applied again to the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Funding the Open Door Project and has been awarded 3 years funding for that project which started June 2014.
This was matched funded by Henry Smith who was paying the salary of the manager.
This funding allowed two new members of staff to be employed
June 2015 the Centre successfully applied for ESF Community grant funding for the period October 2014 to April 2015. This was for Literacy, numeracy, It and Job Search training with support to be delivered. This provided a new temporary post for one of the volunteers.
This funding has now come to an end.
The Henry Smith Funding came to an end Jan 2015.
In September 2014 the Centre successfully applied for a further round of Near Neighbours Funding and again applied in 2016 and was awarded further funding.
The only current funding is the Big Lottery which is now starting year 3.
Provision has been developed in response to identified needs in the community and have included:-
* Social and interest groups aimed at reducing social isolation and facilitating community cohesion.
* Learning opportunities to support skill development.
* Us of ICT to reduce digital exclusion.
* Support with job search and employability skills.
This includes projects providing support for people with a wide range of social and health problems, people with different ability levels, physical disabilities, skill levels, ages, cultural backgrounds, mental health issues, offending backgrounds or addictions.
The West End Centre has over the period 2006 to date has designed developed and delivered the following projects
* Lets Talk to Each other Community Cohesion Project
* Young at Heart Group for the elderly
* Community Lunch Club
* Internet Café
* Sewing for Women
* ESOL Women’s Group
* Cooking for Men
* Healthy Eating group
* Walking Group
* UK Online introduction to IT Provision
* LSC/ESF Community Grant Literacy, Numeracy, IT and Employability provision.
* Learn Direct IT provision for those with drugs alcohol and offending backgrounds.
* Job Search and Employability provision.
* Universal Job Search support.
* Individual Advice and Guidance
* Mums and Dads Tots and Tums
* Financial literacy
* Arts and Crafts
* Jewellery Making
* Family History
* First Aid
* Basic Food Hygiene
* The Seedlings Drama Group.
* Community Groups Advice and Support.
* Big Lottery Volunteer Project
* PPO Project for offenders
* Step Up for those with drugs and offending problems
* Allotment project
Courses are delivered by staff, volunteer tutors and members of the management committee.
The centre also provides work placements and work experience for the following organisations
* Bradford College Health and Social care levels 1,,2,3 and Degree level
* Bradford College Youth and Community degree and Masters Degree
* Job Centre Plus
The Centre was a voluntary sector organisation with constitution, procedures and policies.
In 2014 the Centre became a Charity and a Company Limited by Guarantee.
It is managed on a day to day basis by the Centre Manager who reports to a Management Committee.
The key objectives for the next three years are to
* Continue to provide support for the community
* Continue to provide job search support as required by the community
* Continue to provide learning opportunities as required by the community
* To continue to address social isolation and stigmatisation by the provision of groups and activities required by members of the community.
* Maintain income to support the above
* Meet targets and outcomes required by Big Lottery Funding
* Meet targets and outcomes required by other funders
* To tender and apply for funding to support these services
* To develop links and partnerships with other local organisations and colleges
* Maintain the quality of files, delivery of services, teaching and group work carried out by internal audits file reviews supervision and external audits and inspection carried out by funders.
The centre had recruited a manager who had considerable experience of contract management and quality issues. She had been a senior manager in a Grade 1 Outstanding FE College as well as a consultant for Leeds City Council as a monitoring, audit and quality control manager.
The Management Committee commissioned a quality evaluation and from the results organised for the manager and a member of the MC to be trained at NVQ level 7 in Business Improvement and Contract Management utilising the Centre its systems and procedures to gain the accreditation.
Charter of Values
The West End Centre is committed to equal opportunities ensuring that beneficiaries from all backgrounds have equal access to all its services.
The Centre is determined to provide quality services to all beneficiaries and ensuring that they have the right levels of support to provide parity of access and participation.
It also believes in equal opportunities for its staff giving them, access to training and personal development opportunities where there are funds and resources available.
The centre believes in providing a safe environment for staff volunteers and beneficiaries to work in, train in and attend groups and courses.
Targets and Outcomes
The Centre has met all targets and outcomes required by all the funders to date