The Meridian Centre is a community resource for people of all ages & backgrounds in the Manningham area of Bradford District.
This is an area of multiple deprivations. The services offered by the centre are targeted to achieve our objective of empowering the local community to participate and engage through learning and self development activities. Established in 1984, the main objectives of the centre are to develop knowledge and skills through capacity building programmes to improve economic and social participation in society. The centre is dependent on external funding and has successfully, over the last 33 years, supported local residents with a vast range of community programmes. The centre’s location and close proximity to the target audience attracts local people to the services offered.
The centre offers a number of training programmes aimed at developing skills and knowledge to help individuals access further learning, employment and build confidence levels. These include unaccredited and accredited courses: Traineeship, IT, Teaching Assistant Course, AET, Working with Children, Study Programme, Literacy and Numeracy, ESOL, Talk English, GCSE Mathematics and English , Sewing/Arts & Crafts, Baking ,Healthy Eating and , Counselling, Confidence building and Job Search, etc. Information, Advice and Guidance is also on offer at the centre, and we have been Matrix Accredited since 2008.
The centre understands the importance of reaching out to ‘hard to reach’ communities and those individuals who may be socially excluded from services due to barriers and circumstances and therefore offers an outreach service to local schools, children’s centres and community centres. This is an effective method of engaging with communities and individuals as it is often the proactive approach that is necessary to entice disadvantaged communities to use such services. The women only services are important features of the centre as they create a non-intimidating, safe and comfortable learning environment. There are also classes for men and women (mixed). The centre has now expanded its services to include male and mixed classes and sessions, but keeps it roots as a women’s centre through the quality of its provision and the unique way it engages with hard to reach women, from hard to reach communities. Staff employed within the centre speak local languages and understand the needs of the diverse community it serves.
The Meridian Centre is situated in one of the most disadvantaged areas in Bradford as it suffers from high levels of unemployment and multiple-deprivation such as poor housing, poor literacy and numeracy levels, low academic achievements and high crime levels. The local population is largely BME, Pakistani and Bangladeshi, Eastern European and with clusters of white communities. The needs of the areas are reflected in the services the centre offers. The centre promotes community cohesion through encouraging and promoting equality and diversity.