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Our civic centre - the beating heart of our community

Along with iconic buildings like The Shard and the London Aquatics Centre, Brent Civic Centre has won a 2014 RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) National Award. This award means that the Brent Civic Centre is now in the running for The Stirling Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in the Architectural world.

Whilst it's a privilege to be recognised for architectural qualities, and this is another milestone in putting Brent on the map, for me our civic centre has already won the greatest award by becoming such a bustling, vibrant community space.

Every day I'm delighted to see so many residents of Brent use it at all the important stages of their lives: registering births, revising for GCSEs and A-levels, preparing for job interviews, getting married and for meeting friends and family to socialise. It is a major social hub for Brent.

Similarly, Brent's voluntary sector plays a major role in making our community stronger - even more so in the harsh economic times we face. I'd like to commend CVS Brent, the umbrella organisation that helps local charities bid for external funding and build strong and sustainable business models, for the excellent work it is doing to support local charities and community organisations. These charities are, in turn, providing first-rate, much needed, services in our community. 

We are already an active and supportive community and I would encourage anyone interested in volunteering to get in touch with CVS Brent in order to access the support and resources that they offer.

Volunteering benefits both the volunteer and those receiving the support and services on offer, providing an enriching experience on both sides. Similarly, our civic centre offers a place for people to learn, to grow and to get together, but those people are enriching our community at the same time.  In tough times, mutual support will make us the strong community that we need to be.

Written by Cllr Muhammed Butt