CYCD took another big step forward with the opening of a new Centre, McKenzie House.
CYCD took another big step forward on 6 July with the opening of our new centre, McKenzie House.
It was opened by CYCD’s patron Lord McKenzie of Luton, who had a big hand in helping to establish the organisation in its modern form more than 20 years ago.
The new building was purchased from the organisation’s own reserves and a bank loan rather than through any grants. It will house Little Stars pre-school playgroup, rated as outstanding by Ofsted this year, allowing it to double its intake to 60 children from September. Tenants Eton Law solicitors and Sonali Bank are already established in other parts of the building, creating 12 jobs in the Bury Park area.
The launch event was attended by a range of senior local figures, many of whom have enjoyed an association with CYCD spanning over 30 years.
In 1979 CYCD was started by a small group of young men committed to helping their community overcome the effects of multiple deprivation, in a bedsit owned by Cllr Ashraf, one of the organisation’s original supporters. It was Lord McKenzie’s help some years later as a Leader of the Council that delivered the funding to allow CYCD to move to more suitable premises and grow into the professional and extensive organisation it then became.
Said Lord Mckenzie: “ CYCD is an organisation that demonstrates the very best of what the community and voluntary sector brings to Luton. I’m proud to have helped and supported CYCD along their journey. I was delighted to be asked to open their new centre which will allow them to provide even more vital services to the community. And truly honoured that the building is named Mckenzie House.”
In a moving speech outlining in stark terms the very real effects of deprivation on the community and what CYCD does to alleviate them Sujel Miah, vice chair of BYL’s executive committee said: “One of our aims is ‘to inspire tomorrow’s leaders today’ and the role models for that are in this room: a peer, several local councillors, and many senior community representatives who have all been associated with CYCD since the very start of their careers.”
Referring to Luton’s vibrant and committed voluntary sector, Mr Miah thanked CYCD’s staff and army of volunteers.
Gavin Shuker MP said: “The world is divided into people who think the problems are so vast that they do nothing, and people who believe the problems are so vast that they must do something. CYCD is a great example of the latter, providing essential services and making a difference to lives from tots to old age and everything in between.”
CYCD provides services including drug and alcohol interventions; older peoples’ health and wellbeing services; carers’ support; a pre-school playgroup; girls’ and boys’ youth groups; a homework club; consular services and an advice centre.