IT was set up to keep youths off the streets.

Its founder members spent years lobbying the council for funds.

Now after 20 years in the heart of the community, Coxford Community Centre is celebrating its 20th birthday with an open day, bingo and a party.

Founders Ken Minchington, Marie Smith, Ron Brown, Rosie O’Riley, Louise Smith and Gwen Attwell, the Coxford, Aldermoor and Warren Action Group (CWA), with help from Barbara Hancock from TWICS (Training for Work in Communities), lobbied the council for two years to provide somewhere for young people to go.

Support The action group also launched CWA Bingo in Coxford adventure playground to raise funds for the project.

The community centre finally opened in 1994 after the six members of the CWA received a grant of £160,000 from the city council.

Grandfather-of-four, Ken, 65, said: “We had very good support from everyone when we first got going. Everyone was pleased with it and it was in very good use.

“I think that the bingo group which is run by my wife Julie has been vital.”

CWA Bingo has been held in the Olive Road community centre since it opened and continues to donate half of its proceeds to keep the centre open.

It is also home to a church group and Oasis Academy Lords Hill’s outreach group and regularly booked for private parties.

Everyone is welcome to join the celebrations on April 23, which start with an open afternoon from 1pm-4pm followed by a party with bingo and a buffet from 7pm.