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History of the Association

Resulting from growing concerns being expressed by Mackworth Estate residents at meetings of the Mackworth Estate Police Liaison Group, about the increasing acts of vandalism on the Estate, a small number of Residents discussed ways by which positive action could be taken to combat this problem, as well as addressing other anti-crime initiatives. As a result, and after discussion with the local Police Beat Officers, it was decided to form the Mackworth Crime Prevention Group, which held it’s inaugural meeting on 7th January 2003.

This Group agreed at it’s first meeting that it would be vital to ascertain the views of the young people in terms of what they thought they would like in order to channel their actions towards a more meaningful use of their spare time. After ascertaining the support of the local Head Teachers and representatives of the Derby College, a questionnaire was devised and circulated to all local schools with the request that all age groups be asked to complete an individual questionnaire. Analysis of the resulting information confirmed that the young people would like to see an Activity Centre established on the estate because ”there was nothing to do on the Estate”. It was therefore concluded that this overwhelming and dominant thought in the minds of many young people tended to fuel the basis on which vandalism thrived. It was therefore necessary to provide activities by which these young people could channel their energies into activities, which were more positively constructive. In so doing it was hoped that such a community based organisation could be developed which would encourage the young people to have personal, committed involvement in the management, organisation, and development of it’s operation and associated activities.

Further research revealed that not only was there a need for young people’s activities, there also existed a need for facilities to cater for the needs of other age groups on the Estate, e.g. drama groups, choral groups, etc.

It was therefore established at a very early stage that there was a wide-ranging community need to be satisfied providing a suitable building could be identified and utilised. A potential customer research investigation was quickly undertaken which revealed that there is a sound financial basis on which such an independent, community based project could be financially viable, providing a suitable building could be found.

Following a search throughout the Estate for a building, we discovered that the Family Centre attached to St, Francis Church was available, but having laid dormant and unused for some eighteen months, the building requires refurbishment and upgrading before the necessary operating licence, insurance, etc. could be applied for.

The association, although titled ‘Mackworth Estate Community Association’, will however, offer support to and open up The Mackworth Centre to all of the residents of Derby.
The venue will host a variety of organisations and community groups that currently find accessing local facilities impossible. For example, Wegener’s Granulomatosis & Related Vasculitis, a range of support groups for disabled people, The Friday Club and carers organisations, etc. All these organisations have expressed an interested, and are based throughout the Derby area.

The Youth Service wish to have office accommodation within the building to enable them to organise and run youth clubs, The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, Outward Bound Courses, etc.

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The Probation Service has expressed interest in using the facilities of the Family Centre. Discussions are currently at an early stage.

Derby College (the only local post-16 college in Derby) wish to run an outreach centre within the Family Centre to enable all age groups to gain ICT skills. They hope to use the main hall for exam purposes and the stage to host a variety of theatrical/arts activities. Derby College attracts learners from not only Derby and Derbyshire, but also many of the surrounding counties.

We have helped to reform the Mackworth St, Francis Football Club with teams ranging from the under 8’s to senior level playing in the various football leagues within Derby City – an annual competition for Derby based teams requiring home and away facilities. These teams would like to play both Saturday and Sunday matches, however, they are currently in the position that without accommodation, this will not be possible. Accessing the Family Centre will solve that problem.

Sure Start – an organisation which is funded by central government and works within local communities to support families and children – will offer a range of learning opportunities geared towards meeting the needs of their client group. Dependant on the client group, some suggestions for sessions are: gymnastics, small workshop sessions for families and carers, staff training opportunities, etc.

Learners from Derby College currently studying on a variety of NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) programmes in hospitality and catering will provide much needed Luncheon Clubs for the elderly and the needy within our community. By hosting these clubs, learners will generate the practical evidence required for NVQ portfolio building.

Derbyshire Constabulary are committed to opening an office within in the Family Centre to cover the Derby North area.
The Youth Offending Teams and Derby College plan to use the Family Centre to establish a unit working with children excluded from Derby schools.

Derby City Council Social Services Department are committed to working from the centre, on such things as debt relief and all other forms of social deprivation.

Derby based Netball teams will use the indoor court and facilities of the Family Centre.

A number of local, regional and national organisations plan to use the Family Centre as a venue for their committee/network meetings and training events.
The Family Centre will provide a much-needed venue for local community bookings. At present it is impossible to speculate the types of requests.

To gain charitable Status the Association was required by the Charities Commission to change its name from Mackworth Estate Community Tenants & Residents Association to Mackworth Estate Community Association, and also make changes to paragraph D Objects & Powers of the Constitution. An extra ordinary general meeting was called in accordance with the Governing Document (Constitution), the membership voted to accept the required changes and on the 20th April 2004 we attained Charitable Status with registration number 1103281.

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Since gaining charitable status we have been working in partnership with Derby City Parks Department, to secure funding of £30,000 from Derby City Partnership External Funding Unit to have the drainage repaired on the Knightsbridge Recreation Ground football pitch which will be the home of Mackworth St, Francis Football Club. Again working with the Derby City Councils Parks Department we have secured a further £22,500 for a Sports-Wall also for Knightsbridge Recreation Ground again through Derby City Partnership External Funding Unit.

We have put in two successful bids to Business in the Community (Pro-help), one for a solicitor to help with the legal work and the other for an architect to draw up the plans for the refurbishment of the Centre. Derby Diocesan awarded us £1000 for a computer, Derby City Councils Area Panel 5 have awarded us £2000 in separate bids for various projects mainly working with the youth.

The MECA has over the last twelve months built up a working partnership with a number of Youth Organisations, i e, Sporting-Futures, Derby City Councils Education Departments, Sport’s Development, Derby College Sports Centre to put on various sporting activities free of charge for the youth during the half terms and evenings.

In February 2005, it was decided to have a logo and so we asked a professional art designer if they could help us and the young lady came up the design you see at the foot of this document.
In March 2005, to our surprise we were awarded £3000 from Rolls-Royce, they had heard about the work we had been doing on Mackworth Estate and decided to award us the money for our building fund for the Centre.

In July 2005 a new Priest Father John Phillips was appointed to St, Francis Church Mackworth Estate, with this appointment the negotiations for the former Family Centre moved on at great lengths and early 2006 should see the lease for the building being signed.

Throughout 2005, working with outside agencies like Sporting Futures, Sports Development and Derby College we have been running with success various sporting activities for the youth of Mackworth Estate during the schools half-terms and during week nights, through these projects we have been successful in reducing Anti-Social Behaviour and Criminal Damage by up to 60% to 70%.

In November 2005, the Chair Paul Pegg was successfully nominated by Helen Eley of BH, PR Communications a Business in the Community partner for the BBC’s Unsung Sporting Award for Derbyshire. Unfortunately Paul did not win the East Midlands final held in Leicester.

Following a number of requests form the girls a dance club was set up at the beginning of the 2005 in partnership with the Tiptoe School of Dance and Performing Arts. The age range for the boys and girls is 3 years to 14 years and has regular numbers attending of 15 to 20. The club currently meets on a Thursday Evening at 6pm to 7pm in the Rydale Children’s Centre, Reigate Drive.

We have been successful in putting in a number of bids which will allow us to continue to put on activities for the youngster during 2006.

At the end of May the Faculty was agreed by the Diocese of Derby and signed by Father John on behalf of St, Francis PCC. We are currently waiting for both sets of solicitors to agree on the lease. Once the lease has been agreed and signed by both parties, we can then put forward our funding bids to enable MECA to carry out the necessary refurbishment to the centre.

We have put forward a funding bid for £80,000 for a Skate Park, if the bid is successful it is hoped the skate park will be sited at Greenwich Drive South.

In November 2005, the Chair Paul Pegg was successfully nominated by Helen Eley of BH, PR Communications a Business in the Community partner for the BBC’s Unsung Sporting Award for Derbyshire.

Throughout the year of 2006 MECA continued to work with the various outside agencies to put on many varied activities for the young people of Mackworth Estate. We have to thank Councillors Richard Gerrard, Lisa Higginbottom, and Ray Baxter for their continued support throughout the year and especially through their help in funding through Area Panel 5.

At the AGM held in September Andy Ong replaced Barbara Riley has a committee member, Barbara felt that due to her work as a District Nurse she could no longer give the MECA the support required. Andy Ong is the current Vice-Chair of Mackworth St, Francis Football Club and so joins Kevin Bowler who is the current Chair of Mackworth St, Francis Football Club, onto the committee.

Perhaps the biggest success for MECA during the course of 2006 has been the Thursday dance classes held at Rydale Children’s Centre between 6pm and 7pm. Judy Kelsall organises these sessions along with Charlotte from the Tiptoe School of Performing Arts.

October was the month in which we saw the first draft of the lease for the Mackworth St, Francis Family Centre.

January 2007, we have submitted a further funding request to Area Panel 5 which will enable us to continue working in Partnership with Derby College and Derby City Council Sports and Leisure Services too put on various activities for the young people of Mackworth Estate throughout the year and especially the school half-terms.

Mackworth St, Francis F.C are forming a Football Academy for the 5 to 7 year olds, this is following requests by parents and the youngsters themselves who have older brothers and sisters playing for the club and naturally they want to become involved also.

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