As YCA chairman Mohamed Alnomire’s priority was to secure a viable place for people to meet.
The base is the key. Because without the base you’ll be basically – you won’t – you would exist but you wouldn’t exist at the same time. The base – when you have a base you become attached to commitments. When you have commitments it means you have to work to meet those commitments. And the commitment of a base is rent and utilities. And you’ve got to facilitate the use of the room available otherwise you’ll get criticised by the funders and the people who support you.…As the former Chair put it “The absence of a base was the reason we couldn’t meet anywhere.” The base is very, very important, where you can – I mean we didn’t – at the other YCA, although it had more than 6 rooms, we were still hiring St Andrew’s [Primary School] for £5000 a year, to do the Arabic School…I think 2007-2008, it was the peak of the YCA; whether it’s funding-wise, community support, activities-wise. It was the peak. I mean we catered for the elderly, we had elderly lunch clubs, we had English ESOL classes, crèche facilities, youth nights, swimming; we had it all. The building was heaving from nine [a.m.] until probably eight in the evening, constantly.
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