Catalyst, Councillors and the local community came together to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Unity Centre in Brent, at a special dinner with Caribbean food and entertainment from local musicians.
From the free community gym to the Gener8 homework club and resident-led creative arts group, the Unity Centre has played host for a wide variety of important programmes and initiatives that have brought the Church End & Roundwood community together over the past decade.
Co-hosted by Catalyst and the Brent Community Elders Forum, the anniversary dinner brought together a collection of groups and volunteers that have made the Unity Centre such an important part of Church End community over the past 10 years. His Worship the Mayor of Brent, Cllr Parvez Ahmed; local Cllrs Bobby Thomas and Janice Long; and Dawn Butler (who opened the Centre) joined Catalyst residents for an evening of fun, food and festivities.
Before the fun started, a special piece of commemorative artwork celebrating ’10 Years at the Unity Centre’ was unveiled.
Catalyst has a large presence in Brent, managing over 2,100 homes; 1,500 of which are in the Church End & Roundwood area. Catalyst’s continued investment in the Unity Centre reaffirms the organisation’s commitment to place-making as it provides important opportunities for the local community to meet and interact.
Catalyst Gateway, the social and economic investment arm of Catalyst, manages the Unity Centre and offers a number of services for the residents of Church End. The Gateway team have run a wide range of successful projects and initiatives from the centre over the past 10 years. Recently, the new community gym has engaged 145 local residents in regular fitness activities and has proved a great success at reaching members of the community that have traditionally been difficult to engage with.
Other projects include parenting classes for young parents, a four-week summer holiday programme and a weekly job group that offers a free walk-in service with access to Catalyst’s employment specialists.
Helen Cantrell, Head of Catalyst Gateway, said, “Since the Unity Centre opened it has become an established local hub for people of all ages living in and around the Church End & Roundwood areas. We’ve managed to connect with a variety of local residents over the years, and in 2016 we have trained and supported 44 volunteers who have contributed over 1,900 hours of volunteer time to our projects.”