There was an excellent attendance with standing room only as the founding members of the CPF outlined their hopes and aspirations for the future.
The CPF is a group born out of the initiative of the then Sheriff (now Lord Mayor) of Nottingham, Cllr Merlita Bryan, who was in attendance at the meeting. The CPF’s mission is:
“To build a sustainable community in which every person of African descent (Black) has the opportunity to live a fulfilling life in which they can develop and utilise all of their skills and talents (to benefit themselves and the community).”
There were presentations outlining the current economic situation in Nottingham and which highlighted that Nottingham has the highest level of BME unemployment of any city in England and Wales. It was noted that:
Those in attendance at the inaugural were brought up to speed regarding the Nottingham Growth Strategy which aims to stimulate economic growth and development across the city; and the Nottingham CityDeal, a £60M initiative, financed by central and local government, aiming to create several thousand jobs in creative industries in Nottingham.
Since that time CPF has developed a number of theme groups to address specific issues such as employment, education health etc. and articulated a clear set of aims, which are:
1. To foster a sense of trust and co-operation amongst people of African descent in Nottingham.
2. To facilitate partnership working between CPF member organisations.
3. To hold public/quasi public bodies to account for the way in which they deliver services to and meet the needs of people of African descent.
4. To build the capacity of CPF member organisations to support them to deliver services more effectively.
5. To become a credible voice articulating the needs of people of African descent in Nottingham.
6. To build a positive legacy for the future that can be handed on to future generations.
The situation facing Black young people in Nottingham has always been at the top of the CPF agenda and on Saturday 5th April 2014 CPF held its first major event, the Black Youth Employment & Entrepreneurship Day at The University of Nottingham, Business School, South Jubilees Campus. The event was a great success with young people, employment, training and business support providers in attendance and there were inspirational presentations by Dr Yana Johnson MBE as well as two local entrepreneurs, Daniel Thomas & KC Da Rookie.