Leys Community Development Initiative (CDI)

Since 1995 we have worked with local people, voluntary and community groups to help tackle poverty and improve opportunities in the community of Leys, Oxford.

We are one of the founding members of the charity the Leys Community Development Initiative (CDI), a charity set up in 1995 to improve opportunities in the Leys area of Oxford.

Catalyst Housing in partnership with Green Square Group and A2Dominion has been supporting the Leys Community Development Initiative (CDI), a charity set up in 1995, to improve opportunities for residents living in the area.

The Leys CDI runs two successful projects:

  • the Leys CDI Youth Project for young people aged 9-25
  • the Clockhouse over 50s Project

Leys CDI Youth project for 9-25 year olds

For over two decades Leys CDI has reached out to young people, including the “hard to reach” who may not be in education, employment or training, as well as those who may have a difficult home life.

CDI’s strength lies in its community roots, with local youth workers whom the young people know, relate to, and trust. CDI just completed its 4 year (2015-2018) £500,000 Big Lottery grant for a variety of projects such as diversionary work, innovation lab and action research in which the young people themselves played a leading delivery role in order to enhance their social and technical skills, increase confidence and self-esteem and gain leadership experience

Current projects include:

  • A popular holiday schemes and Youth Club attended by up to 90 young people per session
  • A girls and young women’s project empowering young women to discover their identity and have a voice
  • An informal drop in Youth Club for older young people

Last year 450 young people were engaged in the Youth Project.

“CDI really lifts you. It makes you feel better. Makes you feel more motivated to better yourself. We have the chance to do things and have fun and discover talents. If we didn’t get to try things we wouldn’t have the motivation that we do have.” (Youth Project user)

Leys CDI Clockhouse over-50s project

This brings together over 50s in the Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys area, supporting them to live life to the full, reduce isolation and loneliness, increase health and well-being and play a key role in the local community.

In 2018, 170 older residents were involved in the project, which ran or supported 12 different activity groups, plus information talks and social events.

Our programme is chosen and developed by local older people, who also make up most of the project’s 44 volunteers.

“About 9 years ago I joined the Singing for Fun group which I really like and I do enjoy singing. It is a friendly group and we have a laugh. A couple of us started a Craft Group on Wednesday mornings. At first making cards was the most popular activity but now it is knitting. I have made good friends, it’s a great atmosphere and I am glad to be a part of The Clockhouse.” (Over 50’s Clockhouse Project User)