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Old Barn Youth And Community Centre - Mobilise
Mobilise

Old Barn Youth And Community Centre

Article

 

Photo by Old Barn Action Group

Background

The Old Barn in East Finchley, North London, is a purpose-built community centre, which was set up in 1981 to provide clubs and activities for local people. The organisation that operates the centre is known as the Old Barn Youth and Community Association (OBYCA). For nearly 30 years it ran a great number of youth clubs and pre-school activities. It was well used and highly valued by the local community.

In the last few years, a group that used the centre took over the running of the OBYCA. Some believe that this group has made it difficult for local people to become members of the OBYCA or to make use of the centre. The youth club and other activities have been withdrawn, and many people feel that the centre is no longer providing benefit to the wider community.

Community action

Local residents formed the Old Barn Action Group to try and get the community centre back for use by local people. Their cause was taken up by local politicians, the Borough of Barnet and the Charity Commission.

As the regulator, the Charity Commission has a duty to ensure that charities are run correctly, and they have recently investigated the OBYCA. They found a number of areas where they believe the management committee have not complied with the law, particularly in relation to the operation of an open membership and transparent Annual General Meetings.

Steps to appoint new trustees

Following this investigation, the Charity Commission formed the opinion that OBYCA had no validly appointed trustees. On 31st October they published an Order appointing Mobilise Public Ltd as trustee for the OBYCA. A PDF version of the Order can be viewed here: Old Barn s. 80 Order PDF

Our first action as trustee will be to assess the future viability of the OBYCA and the condition of the building. We will then work with local residents to ensure the Old Barn can be brought back into use for the benefit of the community as soon as possible.

Seeking previous members of Old Barn Youth and Community Association

In the first instance, Mobilise wish to contact anyone who has been a member of Old Barn Youth and Community Association.

Anyone believing that they have current or recently lapsed membership is asked to contact us by email, or by calling 020 8090 4613, by 28th November 2014.