The first Social Centre of Excellence established in Manchester in 1998 was the Moss Side Powerhouse. Centres followed in Liverpool, Dumfries and Hertfordshire.
The Social Centres of Excellence concept was developed in 1998 as part of the original Youth Charter ‘Nowhere to go’ initiative – a response to the alarming number of socially excluded young people on the streets. The concept recognises the role that schools, youth clubs and community buildings used to play in providing a focal point for activity.
Social Centres of Excellence provide a one-stop-shop for the implementation of policy initiatives and resources, helping agencies provide social refurbishment and address the problems caused by social exclusion. The Youth Charter establishes the community’s needs, articulates and presents the needs to the public and private sector agencies and manages the overall project to a successful conclusion.
Using existing facilities where they exist and working with incumbent organisations, the centres provide for young people identified through the Youth Charter’s Youthwise programme. They provide models of good practice and embody the core ideals of the Youth Charter.
Something to do, somewhere to go, someone to show them.