ACCG’s core activity is based around increasing the capacity of African and Caribbean groups in Reading to develop and deliver services. At the same time it has been actively engaged in the restoration of a derelict building (The Central Building) which has featured significantly in the history of the African Caribbean community. For many decades it was instrumental in the development of a number of key BME organisations.
Formally set up at the end of 2008, ACCG immediately became a partner of a three year project from 2009 called Building for Strength (BfS). With the recruitment of a Community Development worker and over a period of 31 months we have assisted 20 African and 17 Caribbean community groups and 8 faith based groups by providing direct support with project planning, bid writing, project delivery in addition to offering specialist training. We assisted 7 groups to secure grant funding in excess of £55,000. The number of beneficiaries directly affected by the group’s activities were approximately 900 individuals.
In 2011, in order to make the link between the building and community groups, ACCG undertook a series of public consultation meetings and received project proposals from 20 community groups. As service providers they proposed either to be prospective residents or utilise the building as a community resource centre.
The combination of the consultation and the successful culmination of the BfS project towards the end of 2012 has given the impetus for the ACCG to refocus its sights on the Central Building Project. The ACCG Board concentrates on fundraising while a Building sub-committee looks at costs and work schedules. All information is communicated through our website and other social media tools.
The Building for Strength Project recently signed off by its funders – the Big Lottery – marking the end of a successful partnership that primarily achieved its outcomes. During its 3 year life span it enabled the ACCG to achieve some remarkable milestones, a few which are listed below:
- Placed over 107 group representatives on BfS training and external courses;
- Offered specialist training including Food Hygiene level 2, Emergency First Aid, Universal Safeguarding and Child Protection Designated Person Training, Smart board Presentation Training;
- Provided direct support with project planning, bid writing, project delivery;
- Co-hosted Reading’s first Black film festival, showcasing thought provoking films, documentaries and lectures at several venues across Reading the during Black History month October 2011. ACCG did not just stop there, below are some of the other notable achievements that we are proud to be part of:
- A Beginners Sewing Classes
- Steel Pan exhibition celebrating 60 years of the Steel Pan in Britain
- Advanced Dress making workshops
- Web content management for our volunteers and other members of the community
- And lastly (a first for us), an Animation workshop with Master animator Peter Lang.
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