The Thanington estate is a pre-war council estate in the Wincheap ward of Canterbury, two bus-rides from health or Council services. It comprises approximately 600 mainly large, tenanted properties, with the biggest percentage of the 1800 residents being in the 6-24 year age-range. There are also Housing Association dwellings and smaller one-bedroomed flats for single people with, or recovering from, long-term problems and privately owned houses adjacent to the estate, housing mostly older retired people. There are no other similar youth clubs, parent/toddler, After School or community leisure services in the area.
In the 1990’s Thanington estate fell within the DETR 2000 Index of the most deprived wards and suffered high levels of youth-centred crime and anti-social behaviour. Highly publicised resident dissatisfaction and disharmony culminated in front-page street disturbances and violence towards the police. Consequently, a multi-agency and mixed stakeholder Steering Group was set up to lead a bid for a Single Regeneration Budget [SRB] grant of £3 million, which helped to regenerate and reshape the estate. Widespread community consultation highlighted the need for a community focal point, especially for young people, resulting in the building of the Neighbourhood Resource Centre in the summer of 2000. The SRB grant provided £10,000 set-up costs and the salary for a full-time manager and p/t Admin and cleaner for the first 12 months only.
Despite its success – over 48,600 users (footfall) in 2011-12 , the Centre still survives from year to year by a patchwork of temporary mainly non-statutory funding-streams, from a variety of Trusts and Foundations.