There are over 550 voluntary and community groups in Luton, 381 of which are registered with Luton Borough Council.
These groups range from local branches of national organisations to small local special interest groups. Some like the Luton branch of the Samaritans provide support 24 hours a day, others such as Luton Rights or the pre-school groups are open five days a week. Others provide support meeting weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Special interest groups often meet weekly, fortnightly or monthly, but many do not specify how frequently they meet. While 30 sports groups are registered with Luton Borough Council, it is estimated that there are over 200 different sports clubs in Luton ranging from football to cricket, hockey, athletics, basketball, boxing, tennis, bowls, cycling, Gaelic football, badminton, squash, swimming, golf, gymnastics and rugby.
Luton in Harmony
Luton in Harmony is a campaign supported by the Luton Forum (Luton’s Local Strategic Partnership) aimed at drawing our communities together. The campaign wishes to strengthen the message that Luton’s communities will challenge violent extremist ideology, wherever it comes from, and unite in supporting, giving voice to, and celebrating Luton’s diversity. As part of the campaign, many people across the town have been motivated to speak out against division and negativity, and some wonderfully positive events have taken place such as the Luton Council of Faiths’ Faith Walk and the Love Music Hate Racism event in St George’s Square. Luton in Harmony was launched in 2010 and celebrated its first anniversary this year. The campaign has supported the Love Luton campaign which shares many of its aims.
The Luton Assembly was established to help support and empower the community and voluntary sector, giving them a voice and helping them to shape and design service delivery within Luton. Established in 2002, there are almost 400 voluntary and community organisations in Luton who elect 18 representatives to sit on the Assembly Committee. The work of the Luton Assembly is divided into the work of four themed networks: Vision 4 Children and Young People, Environment and Economy, Health and Well Being, and Stronger and Safer Communities. Luton Assembly has provided keen support to the Love Luton campaign and the city bid, having been involved with the Luton in Harmony campaign, and been one of the major supporters of the Myplace/TOKKO plan to develop a new youth hub in the heart of Luton.
Luton Town Chaplaincy
The Luton Town Centre Chaplaincy (LTCC) is a Christian organisation which, through the work of individual chaplains, provides a listening ear to people in Luton Town Centre as well as building bridges of understanding and trust between industry, faith, commerce and society. Our vision for the future is that the Luton Town Centre Chaplaincy will be the first port of call for anyone in need in and around Luton Town Centre by recruiting, training and placing Chaplains in a variety of settings (business, civic, retail, public spaces) who will be available to anyone who needs someone to talk to.
Voluntary Action Luton is the lead organisation behind TOKKO, assisted by the Luton Assembly, to create a new youth hub in the centre of Luton. TOKKO will be the new world class building on Gordon Street, the street behind the Town Hall in the centre of Luton, on the site of a former advice centre, donated by Luton Borough Council. The existing building will be demolished and an innovative, high quality new landmark will be built in its place, representing the ambition, inspiration and inclusivity of Luton’s young people. Young people have been the driving force from the very beginning, organising a youth steering group to ensure that the venue and the project meets the needs of young people in Luton. They have been involved in designing the building with the architects and hosting events for stakeholders. The centre is due to open in spring 2013.
Luton Council of Faiths
The Luton Council of Faiths is a registered charity which is committed to encourage and promote tolerance, respect and mutual understanding among people of all faiths and cultures in Luton. Launched in 1997, LCOF has gained a respected and trusted reputation in Luton with the Borough Council regularly consulting it on matters relating to social cohesion. The Council of Faiths have bimonthly meetings, which are attended by a range of faiths which cut across various denominations namely: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Bahai, Zoroastrian and other spiritual organisations. The council engages also with the secular views to build a cohesive town. It has been recently involved in the campaign to have Luton declared a ‘Fairtrade town/city’, as well as working closely with Luton International Carnival.
Street Pastors is an inter-denominational Church response to urban problems, engaging with people on the streets to care, listen and dialogue. Luton Street Pastors was launched on December 2009. Since then we have had teams out on the streets of Luton on Friday and Saturday nights. We are a multidenominational team of over 40 volunteers, who each give up an evening a month to go on the streets of Luton.
Luton Carnival Art Developments Trust
Established in 1998 as a registered charity, LCDAT aims to keep the spirit of Carnival alive all year round by organizing Carnival related events and workshops while also raising much needed revenue.
Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity
(BRCC) is the leading countywide charity working with communities across Bedfordshire and Luton, with a proven track record in community development developed over the past 50 years. BRCC delivers a wide range of services and activities in order to maintain communities that are strong, thriving, well served and inclusive.
Biso Afrika is an organisation established in Luton, which aims to bring cultures and communities together by organising social events. The intention is to create environments which promote the understanding and the sharing of our individual cultural heritage, while discovering the diversity of others.
Luton Irish Forum
Improving Welfare. Promoting Culture. Promoting Social Inclusion. Advancing Education.