The Dalgarno Trust
From a no-go area of drug dealing and drive-by shootings, the Dalgarno Trust in West London has transformed its premises into a sparkling new enterprise hub, with a cafe, gym, youth club and space for local start-up businesses.
Dalgarno Trust began in 2004 with minimal funding in an area of high community conflict.
The building in which they are currently housed had become almost a ‘no-go’ area, with drug dealing and intimidation happening on site. When the trust first began their work, there were even a couple of drive-by shootings that injured two young people and shattered the windows o the building. Hard to imagine when you arrive today in a brightly refurbished, open, light space that houses equally bright and enthusiastic staff and members of the community.
Following several years of working diligently with police and other local partners to restore harmony and trust in the community space, Dalgarno secured loan finance from Social Investment Business to re-furbish the building, with the intention of creating an enterprise hub. This would help the financial sustainability of the Trust, but would also create a much needed resource for the locality where employment had become a pressing priority.
Today, the Dalgarno Enterprise Hub provides individuals, pre-start ups and start ups with long term business advice, self-employment support and enterprise training. It also hires out hot-desk space to entrepreneurs in the area and hosts a number of exciting projects to help stimulate the ideas and skills found amongst community members.
Alongside this are facilities for a wide range of community activities. Youth and children’s work continues to be a priority, with a thriving youth club programme for ages 7-20. A café run by local residents is a place for people to meet. There is a weekly food bank with delicious fare provided by Wholefoods. There is a large sports hall and gym for a wide range of fitness activities and a small library. And Dalgarno provides work experiences wherever possible for members of the community who would like to develop their skills.
Their success is demonstrated by the number of people who walk through their doors, currently estimated to be around 600 per week, and growing at around 30% month on month. And as more people join in with the activities, the space is becoming ever brighter, with local artists displaying their work around the building, market stalls setting up during special events and delicious smells filling the space on coffee mornings. A delightful place to be…