The Leys Community Development Initiative (CDI)
The CDI is a registered charity (number 1137129). It has had incorporated company status since 2009. The CDI was launched in 1995 to develop and co-ordinate projects of long-term benefit to the Leys (the Blackbird and Greater Leys), Oxford. The CDI has two main projects: a Youth Project (for 9 to 25s), and the Clockhouse Project (for 50+).
The Needs/Characteristics of the Area, and the People we help
In 2011 the Leys had 13,100 residents. 30% of the Leys’ residents are aged under 18 years, and another 31% are young adults aged 25 to 44 years. There were 5,100 households living in the Leys in 2011, nearly one in five of which were headed by lone parents, over double the city average. Like other areas of the city, the Leys has seen an increase in ethnic diversity – 33% of residents were from a non-White British ethnic group, compared to 18% in 2001. The Leys has a notably large proportion of residents from Black ethnic groups – 12% of the population compared to the 5% city average. Historically the Leys was built as a social housing estate, and 50% of households still rent their home from the council or a housing association. Another third own their home, but this number has decreased over the last decade. Over half of the Leys’ residents have no or low qualifications, compared to the 22% city average. 41% of working age adults work in low skill routine or semi-routine occupations (The Leys Profile – 2011 Census: Oxford City Council statistics).
The Leys estate has some of the worst education and skills deficits in the UK. The Child Well Being Index shows eight super output areas in Leys CDI’s area of benefit. All are in the top 7% of national educational deprivation, 3 top 1%, 3 top 2%, 1 top 3% and 1 top 7%. The wards of the Leys are in the bottom 5% and 10% for child wellbeing, including being in the most deprived areas nationally overall and for children in need. Almost 40% of families in two wards of the Leys have children living in poverty, whilst the average in England is 21% meaning that children on the Leys are almost twice as likely to live in poverty. In May 2013 officially 377 young people ages 16–18 were not in employment, education or training (NEET) or any form of learning in Oxford. The majority of those young people live in Blackbird Leys and Barton. The cycle of deprivation across health and education, coupled with unstable home-lives, means that “People living in the Leys do poorly in school, are less healthy and have higher levels of teenage pregnancy and unemployment”.
We need your help
We are hugely grateful to numerous generous donors who support our work. Further information about our recent income and expenditure can be found in our Annual accounts, copies of which can be downloaded below.
Your financial contribution can help sustain these activities for young people in this area of social need. Your contribution can make a big difference to our project, for the young people of Oxfordshire
If you would like to support the valuable work we do, to donate please click on the button bellow or send a cheque to “LEYS CDI” at the following address:-
Blackbird Leys Community Centre
Blackbird Leys Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX4 6HW
From the beginning, the Leys CDI has worked in close partnership with blackbird Leys Church , Catalyst, Green Square, and Dominion Housing Associations.
For over 23 years they have provided constant in- kind support, and grants, to under-pin the charity’s work.
Other organisations that have worked with us on developments, within either the Youth Project or the Clockhouse Project are:
Agnes Smith Advice Centre
AGE UK Oxfordshire
Clockhouse ITProject group
East Oxford Archaeology Project
Joined Up Singing
Leys Childrens Centre
Oxford City Council
Oxford Safer Communities Partnership
Oxfordshire County Council
An annually elected Executive Committee of Trustees manages the charity. The Trustees meet at least six times a year, to receive reports from the two projects, to review finances, and to plan for the future.
Currently there are 7 Trustees.
The charity’s Annual General Meeting usually takes place in November each year.
David Truesdale MBE MA BA
Trustee and Past Chair (2005-2015)
A retired Housing Association Director with 40 years’ experience in town planning, housing and community development, David was awarded the MBE in 2013 for services to the community, particularly for CDI, which he chaired for 10 years until 2015. He was closely involved in the development of the Blackbird Leys estate, a major extension to Oxford, in the 1990s, including the design and building of the Clockhouse. He was a founding governor of the nearby Windale First School, and chairs Haddenham Parish Council, one of the largest parishes in Buckinghamshire.
Now retired, Penny worked in the Civil Service for 20 years. In 1994 she was seconded to a Business in the Community partnership in Blackbird Leys, and ended up doing community development work there for 15 years. She has been involved with the CDI from the beginning, and particularly focuses on fund-raising and administration.
Sasha East, FdCD, MSc, DChA
Sasha has lived locally all her life and specialises in community development and charity management. Sasha has extensive experience working with local voluntary sector organisations and is currently employed by Abingdon & Witney College as a Community Development Manager running the Blackbird Leys Learning Centre. Sasha has been chair of the board of trustees since November 2015 and before that was secretary since 2008 (prior to the CDI’s incorporation and the forming of the new organisation).
Richard Grant became a trustee in 2012. He has worked as Community Involvement Officer for GreenSquare since 2010, supporting their 3000 Oxfordshire residents. Before that he worked for many years for Oxford City Council with its Community Centres and other voluntary organisations. He is on the YP2 sub-committee.
Peter Stevenson MA, FCA
After College, I became a chartered accountant, and practised as a partner in Grant Thornton. After deciding that I wanted to specialise in the charity and voluntary sector, I spent over 15 years as the Finance Director of Anchor Housing Association, which provided housing and care services to older people all over the country.
I am now a financial consultant specialising in charities and voluntary organisations. I have been involved with the CDI and several other charities and community bodies on the Leys for almost 20 years in a variety of capacities, including Trustee, Treasurer, Financial Adviser and Independent Examiner.
It is a privilege to work with such a talented and committed group of people as the CDI trustees and staff..