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The Story Of The Original Women of Cedars YCC

Angela and Kathy, Trust Employees

From rubble to a multi-pound facility used by hundreds of people in the local community, Angela and Kathy have been through it all. Their time with the Trust started by chance, moving on from previous roles before coming on board with the promise of a fully-fledged community hub. In this ‘clean and shiny’ new centre as Kathy first called it, the bookings and footfall began following an opening by the legendary Graham Taylor OBE in May 2012.

“From memory, our very first booking was from Shaftsbury High School up the road from here,” recalls Angela.

Bookings then continued from schools to football groups, as well as the general footfall of curious locals to young people looking for somewhere to meet up with friends. Angela continues:

“You do get a mix of ages. We could have people into their eighties here one minute, then the next, we’ve got children around five years old. Some of those kids that walk in here now, I’ve known them since they were four or five and now, they’re teenagers!”

Kathy echoes that sentiment but with children a little closer to home.

“My granddaughter started tennis here and she used to love it. Now she’s older she still plays.”

Having seen so many people and groups during their tenures then, do they have a favourite?

Kathy speaks of the social clubs for over-fifty- year-olds:

“I get on well with them, they’ve even invited me out to lunch and bought me Christmas presents. I always enjoy seeing them.”

Meanwhile, Angela shows no hesitation in her pick:

“Harrow Mencap for me, you can always have a laugh with them. They were one of our first bookings as well, now they are mainstays in the room upstairs.”

It’s clear to see their pride in the role they’ve played in the Centre’s success, a just feeling as you hear their many tales and the difference it makes to those that walk through those doors at Cedars Youth and Community Centre. Kathy sums it up with a personal take on what a place like this can bring to a community:

“Me being a widow, I enjoy coming to work and I know a lot of other women who come here that are widows as well. It’s an outing and gives you something to put in the diary.”