AN organisation set up to support disadvantaged people has launched a base in Keighley town centre as demand for its services continues to grow.

Eden Community Association was established in 2020 with the aim of addressing disadvantages faced by members of the area's black, Asian and minority ethnic community.

Now the multi-purpose initiative provides a wide range of services including social, healthy living, educational and recreational programmes, as well as access to learning and training opportunities. Several new projects and activities are planned during the coming weeks.

The association has opened an office in Keighley Civic Centre, and over 100 people attended a launch event.

Guests included Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Ed Anderson, Lord Mayor of Bradford Councillor Martin Love, town and district councillors, service users and representatives of local organisations.

Ashraf Miah, the association's general secretary, said: "I am extremely proud of our official opening.

"Our group has been instrumental during the pandemic in supporting the most-affected BAME communities by encouraging and promoting the take up of vaccines, and we worked hard with key partners in setting up community neighbourhood clinics.

"We worked closely with schools to provide essential food parcels to families on low incomes and to pensioners who are suffering due to the cost-of-living crisis. Our main objective is to work in partnership with other voluntary and statutory agencies in developing projects that benefit our diverse communities in Keighley.

"We believe that our strength lies in our diversity, meeting the needs of local people and supporting their aspirations. We also aim to promote understanding between all sections of the community, offering a setting for multi-cultural, inter-generational and interfaith exchange."

Fulzar Ahmed, a trustee of the association, says: "We could not have done this without the support of the community and all the partners involved. We are very grateful for everyone’s help. We are always working towards empowering the local community in Keighley today to prepare for a better life tomorrow. I would like to thank our launch sponsors, Asian Standard and Alexander Cousins Solicitors."

Cllr Love said at the launch event: "I wish the very best to Eden Community Association.

"I would like to congratulate all the officers and volunteers who are providing vital services during the cost-of-living crisis.

"I wish you well as you continue to educate, develop and empower the local community."

Mr Anderson said he was delighted to join other guests at the event.