Business plan

 Business Plan 2015 – 2018

  1. Executive Summary

This Business Plan is set to outline the strategic direction that Samuel Lithgow Youth Centre (SLYC) will pursue during the next three years (2015 / 2018). Although so much has already been achieved by the organisation during the past five years, since our Centre re-opened, these three years planned ahead of us will be very challenging and rewarding. The recently refurbished and extended Community Building opened on 1 February 2010. The new Centre offers a number of new and modern facilities (i.e. new sports hall, music room, dance studio, ICT suite, games room and juice bar, a community café with a commercial kitchen, a modern community gym). The building is Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant also has a lift installed. The impact that SLYC’s modern, dynamic, state of art community building is already making in the Regent’s Park Ward and to the young people and the wider community who access its activities is therefore immense.

A series of youth and community base programmes for the wider community are already being delivered by and from SLYC. These services have been devised / extended / improved following a number of community consultations carried out prior to SLYC’s Capital Project and subsequent feedback from the Centre’s users, key stakeholders and the local community. In the next three years, and beyond, SLYC will aim at building on what is currently being delivered (i.e. IT and gym classes, cyber café, health and fitness activities, for women, the elderly and BMEs, crèche facilities, children and youth provision, volunteering opportunities, mentoring and training) and, at the same time, devising further services / opportunities which will address other community needs. This rationale being based on expected further cuts to a number of statutory managed / funded services across the borough, such as children’s playcentres, holiday provision for young people, frontline services for the elderly and the disabled, libraries, leisure and sports centres. The reduction / end of these services will severely impact on some of borough most vulnerable and needed, but SLYC will endeavour to continue to deliver free services which will address these gaps. Therefore, some of the new and vital services delivered by / and from SLYC in the past three years are scheduled to continue, such as the Junior Youth Club [8 – 12]; the Homework Club; an expanded Holiday Programme [11 weeks per year]; Training Education and Employment Programmes for young people [16 – 25]; Health and Fitness Programmes for Adults. Additionally, others services are planned to be expanded, such as Welfare and Legal Advice, increasing the hours of crèche and fitness classes for women;, increasing the number of activities available for the senior citizens and BMEs, the unemployed, and ICT Classes for Beginners.

The first year of this Business Plan (April 2015 to March 2016) focus on SLYC’s financial sustainability and the strategic approach that will be implemented. The key aims are to maintain what is already being achieved (the above mentioned services plus the Senior Youth Club [12 – 19]; Free Community Gym and Free Cyber Café); the increase of the volume of current services and the creation of a number of new partnerships to enable the organisation to continue to expand and deliver these services at lower or no costs (to SLYC).

The second year of this Business Plan (April 2016 to March 2017) covers one of the most challenging periods for SLYC. Further cuts by local authorities, on mainstream services and funding allocated to the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) are expected and this will impact hard on SLYC. The Central Government announced cuts to local authorities [in 2014] will have been enforced by April 2016 and it is likely to have a snowball effect. Therefore, the key aim will be to devise and implement new ways of delivering cost-effective, successful and invaluable services to children and young people and local residents. SLYC will hence continue to set up a number of new partnerships with local voluntary, statutory, corporate sectors; community groups and colleges. Developing, and maintaining, sustainable partnerships will ensure the ICT, Education, Employment, Training, and Multi-Learning Programme of activities, including Health, Fitness, Leisure, and Sports, continue being delivered [free] to children, young people and the wider community.

The third year of this Business Plan (April 2017 to March 2018) is based on the premise that very little or no statutory funding will be available to the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS). However, SLYC still plans to maintain the same levels of services of the Year One of this Business Plan. Therefore, a number of precautionary measures to lessen the impact of yet more cuts have already been devised and will be implemented as scheduled.

This Business Plan will cover the next three financial years and its full implementation will ensure that by the end of its duration SLYC will:

  • Continue to provide a Community Centre of excellence for young people and the wider community.
  • Deliver a comprehensive programme of activities for young people, lone parents and under 5’s, BMEs, the disabled, the unemployed and senior citizens.
  • Develop new partnerships with voluntary and community groups, statutory agencies, local colleges and corporate sector.
  • Work with the local community in developing services that meet their needs and address issues affecting them.
  • Empower young people and other users’ groups and build community foundations.

Despite the current financial climate, SLYC remains financially sound and have more reasons to be optimistic about the next three years and beyond. SLYC has massive support within the local community; its membership continues to relentlessly grow, attendance figures are also increasing and there is a buzz of excitement in the place about the things yet to come. What the future lies ahead is exactly what the Board, staff members, Centre’s users, project workers, our key partners, and the local community have been expecting since our Capital Project was completed in 2010: SLYC to become a dynamic, innovative, cost-effective, self-sustainable, and multi-cultural Youth and Community Centre, which is efficiently and skilfully managed.