The Cardigan Centre
Established in the late 1980s, the Cardigan Centre works in the inner-city neighbourhoods of north west Leeds to facilitate social welfare, recreation, education and economic regeneration.
It runs extensive voice and advocacy work to make sure that people who are not normally listened to can make their voices heard. It works with statutory bodies to help them understand and value engagement from local people.
Staff at the Cardigan Centre also work hard to ensure that local people – and in particular young people – have a say in how the centre is run.
Young people have many opportunities to have their say. Everyone accessing one-to-one support or group work is asked whether they got what they needed and how they found the member of staff. There is a drop-in box and a book available for anonymous feedback, and these are also taken out into schools for those who don’t want to make a comment or ask a question in public.
Emma, youth worker and deputy centre manager at the Cardigan Centre, says:
“In one school visit feedback box, a young woman commented that our sex and relationships programme talked about male circumcision but not female genital mutilation. She felt it was a big issue for young women in that school and that young men needed to be aware of it as well.
“And while she didn’t want to be the ‘public face’ about it, she wanted us to advocate on her behalf to raise awareness. We worked with that young woman to adapt the programme and she also put together something to be used with other professionals.”