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May 10

New Wortley Community Centre officially opens its doors


New Wortley Community Centre opening

Locality member, New Wortley Community Association, officially opened their new multi-purpose community centre on Saturday 6 May 2017.

This seven year project saw over 196 people, including local people involved in the development and building of the centre. Funding came from Big Lottery, and in collaboration with multi-disciplinary students, graduates and staff from Leeds Beckett Universities Project Office. The building recently won a global 2017 Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED) Award for their excellence in public interest design.

The centre opened it’s doors officially as part of the New Wortley Festival, and will provide the community with activities that include volunteering, adult education and health and wellbeing.  Previously just two members of paid staff and eight volunteers ran the organisation, today the centre has eight members of paid staff and 53 volunteers. The New Wortley Community Centre now plays a pivotal role in the city’s most disadvantaged community offering drug rehabilitation, job shops, laundrette, charity shop, IT and skills classes, back to work volunteering opportunities, health and well being classes, and much more.

New Wortley Community Centre opening

New Wortley Community Association are a long standing and active member of Locality, as Bill Graham, Project Manager of the New Wortley Community Centre, comments:

“When I first started working at New Wortley Community Association I met the Locality representative Sophie Michelena who was very positive about what could be achieved even with an organisation that was struggling.  I’ll always remember the first time we sat down and chatted about the funding bid… I was a bit naive but you encouraged me!

The initial help around sources of funding, and hearing of other organisations who had been able to turn their fortunes around was invaluable. Locality membership introduced us to a wider network of peer organisations and I suddenly realised we were not alone!

The achievements here at New Wortley are in part due to the involvement of Locality. I can pick up a phone and ask for advice or I can arrange to speak to a fellow member. The New building is a result of a huge amount of joint working and knowledge sharing – and a lot of this has come from the wider Locality network.

Locality membership is a cornerstone in our success and I would advise all similar organisation to join if they have ambition to develop their communities.”

– Bill Graham, New Wortley Community Association

Tony Armstrong visits the NWCC during building

Locality CEO, Tony Armstrong visits the New Wortley Community Centre during construction

“Bill and the board of New Wortley worked really hard and were extremely patient in the lead up to receiving funding for this project. What also struck me was how much local volunteers and residents were involved in the project design, and now the running of the new centre. A great and much needed achievement!”

– Sophie Michelena, Development Manager at Locality

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