The Founder's Story

Mike Prescod MBE 1938 - 2010

Profile and brief Biography of Michael Sinclair Prescod MBE MA BA PGDip(Soc Scil (pictured left)

Watch a video message from the late Mike Prescod

Born in Barbados in 1938, Mike Prescod immigrated to Britain in 1957. After a few months working for British Railways as a clerk, he joined the British Army within the same year and served with the Corps of Royal Signals for 14 years attaining the rank of Sergeant. Mike saw action and his service took him to Singapore, Malaya, Hong Kong and Germany as well as to various places in the United Kingdom.
Following his career in the armed forces, in 1970 Mike moved to Coventry with his wife Joyce where he joined the City's Social Services Department as a social worker. In 1976 with their family they moved to Wellingborough to take up the post of Ethnic Minority Social Worker with the Northamptonshire County Council assisting with the development of Race Equality policies. He was seconded to the town's then fledgling Race Relations Council. During this period Mike took a lead in the establishment and progress of the Victoria Centre, Wellingborough's multi-racial and cultural community centre. He was also instrumental in the creation and development of the Wellingborough African and Caribbean Community Centre, of which the members have elected him Hon. Life President.
In 1982 Mike Prescod was appointed Race Equality Officer, Social Services, at the London Borough of Islington and, after a short period, he was promoted to a Neighborhood Manager post. In this he was responsible for front line services while acting at times for the Borough in designing many important policies. Meanwhile Mike also acted as an adviser to Harriet Harman MP, then Shadow Secretary for Health & Social Services (now Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Secretary of State for Equalities), and he also served as a member of London-wide agencies for the improvement of race relations.
Taking early retirement in 1996 from full-time employment, Mike continued to work as an unpaid voluntary and community worker. In 1995 he was elected as a Councilor to the Borough of Wellingborough and in 1998 he was created the first Mayor ( Pic A) of the town with African Caribbean origins. In 2001 Mike was appointed Chairman of the Northampton Probation Service by the Home Office. In addition to life presidency of WACA, he is the Vice­President of the Victoria Centre having formerly been Vice President of the Northamptonshire Race Equality Council, Chairperson of School Governors, member of Board of Directors of the Castle Theatre and of the Board of Visitors of Wellingborough Prison, as well as a member of many other organisations.
Mike has worked tirelessly to promote and advocate a richer quality of life for the ethnic minority communities in Wellingborough and he remains a stalwart supporter of the Race Equality Council, Wellingborough District Hindu Association, the Muslim Community, and other communities within the county. In 2002 Mike was awarded an MBE (Pic B) for services to the voluntary sector and community relations work. Amongst other honours he was awarded an Honorary Master of Arts Degree by the University of Northampton in 2005 plus a merit Award by the current Prime Minister of Barbados in 1999.

Needing premises to run, develop and co-ordinate programmes and activities, the association applied for premises but was turned down by the home office. Undeterred the association’s president Mike Prescod approved The Northamptonshire County Council who offered a 2 bed roomed terrace in Herriots Lane, which the association converted into their base to operate from.

As time passed however it soon became clear that these premises were inadequate to meet the needs of its community. In 1990 Mike Prescod and Billy Walker negotiated the acquisition of Rock Street Youth Centre for the association on a 10 year lease. and later renegotiated a 25 year lease.

Over the following years the association has adapted and transformed the use of rock street complex which currently includes a main hall, administration offices, I. T. and conference suite, licensed bar and kitchen, kiddies play area, powder room, recording studio, Astroturf ball court, ample parking facilities, elderly day care centre, stair lift disabled access and other adaptable room uses.

Throughout its history the association has opened a vast and wide variety of programmes always evolving, innovating, developing and responding to the ever changing needs of its community.

Not without its share of problems and short comings the association through its members, directors, staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly to fulfil its aims and duty to the community.

One such programme is the associations Saturday supplementary school which has been running since 1978 and still going strong.

 

News in brief

  • IT SUITE
    WACA’s fully furnished IT Suite is ready and waiting for you! Find out how you can book.
    more
  • AIIR PROJECTS
    Read about WACA's new service initiatives which are revolutionising. . .
    more
  • WACA TV
    Your very own LOCAL community TV station is on the way.....
    more

 

Info about coming Events at WACA below.



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