Community Centre in Barton celebrates fifth birthday

Community Centre in Barton celebrates fifth birthday

Ongo‘s Viking Centre is celebrating five successful years, after opening back in 2015 to turn the Caistor Road estate in Barton around.

The estate has undergone huge improvements over the last five years, with more than £40,000 of investment from Ongo and partner agencies.

Before work began in 2015, low employment levels, anti-social behaviour and people leaving their homes were the biggest issues facing the estate, with each empty property costing Ongo on average £2,500.

In a bid to make positive changes and save money, we stepped in to open up and revamp The Viking Resource Centre, a community hub on in the heart of the estate.

Other services were then introduced, including free education and training, activities for young people, clean up days and campaigns to improve health and wellbeing.

Ongo also have a team that work with the youth offering teatime club, movie nights, breakfast club, and big trips out.

Jan Williams, Head of Opportunities at Ongo said: “Since opening the Viking Centre we have made a huge, positive impact in Barton and have really become close to our community members and built long lasting relationships.

“The work our team has done has given younger people in the community an opportunity to learn and experience new things, whilst gaining skills that will benefit them in the future.

“I am so proud of the team for truly changing lives of people, from securing £8,000 to revamp the and create a new kitchen garden, winning the Best Community Project on a Social Housing estate award in the Groundwork Community Awards, hosting a royal wedding street party that saw over 200 people. We have some real milestone moments and we’re not done yet, here is to another successful five years!”

Addaction, Tesco, Sanctuary Housing, the Police and Crime Commissioner and the National Lottery Awards for All initiative have all been huge supporters, backing the project with involvement and funding.

Partnership work with Humberside Police has played a huge part too, with better relationships within the community and an increase in reported anti-social behaviour.

Another clear success has been an almost 50 percent reduction of empty homes from 2016-2019, as more people stay in their homes and move to the area.

Today the estate is home to four staff members employed by Ongo, who maintain the area. There is a dedicated Centre Manager, a Youth Mentor and two Community Investment Assistants, who live locally and started out as volunteers.

Grace Wooley, Viking Centre Manager said: “Since the Viking Centre re-opened in 2015 it has been a real central point for the community and a great place for young people who live on the Barton estate to socialise and we have been able to offer some great new experiences.

“We are so grateful for the support we have received and the community spirit of the residents of the Caistor Road estate has been amazing.

“Celebrating our 5th birthday digitally is different to our usual street party celebrations but we felt it was really important to celebrate our achievements and run our social media campaign.”

To find out more about Ongo’s community projects and plans, go to: www.ongo.co.uk

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