Community Conversations at Marsh Farm Futures

Local community groups, voluntary organisation representatives, young people and residents took part in a Community Conversations event at Marsh Farm Futures (MFF) on Tuesday 30th October.  The event was opened by Anna Pedersen – Chair of Marsh Farm Futures Board who welcomed and thanked everyone for coming out on a cold Tuesday evening. Speaking to attendees at the event, Anna said: “I am extremely grateful for your attendance this evening and look forward to supporting you with Community Business and your ideas”.

Ishaq Kazi, Programme Manager at MFF running the Power to Change Project said “we are one of seven organisations in the country to have been selected by Power to Change, an independent Trust. The key purpose of the programme is to engage residents and develop ideas to set up community businesses that will be owned, run and managed by local people”.

Over 25 people attended the event hosted by MFF at Futures House. During the event, MFF raised awareness about Power to Change and the Empowering Places Programme focusing on community business. Annette White, a Director of MFF who is overseeing the programme said “It’s great to see our local residents come up with some superb ideas and show huge enthusiasm. I want to reassure everyone that community businesses will address local issues as they are responsive to change, they help their whole community recycle money back into the local area and they give the power back to their local community”.


The event provided an opportunity for participants to generate great ideas including recycling furniture, community energy, community market stall and an online disability shop.


Anyone interested can still register their interest by contacting Marsh Farm Futures on 01582 512555 or email:

Marsh Farm Fireworks 2018

The annual Marsh Farm Fireworks event held on Monday 5th November 2018 was once again a spectacular success. Over 4000 people attended, our largest crowd ever, to enjoy the music and colourful display.

Marsh Farm Futures, with sponsorship support from Nisa Local and Luton Borough Council, brought this annual event to the community.

Co-ordinated by BT Events, local people and others from across Luton came out in full force to enjoy the display. Officers and staff from Bedfordshire Police, Bedfordshire Fire Service and St John’s Ambulance were on hand to make sure everyone had a safe and enjoyable time and there was an array of food choices to cater for all tastes, together with fairground rides for the children.

Local resident, Lauren, said “I loved the music, great fireworks. It was brilliant!”

The display was opened by Marsh Farm Futures director, Roy Davis who said: “Marsh Farm Fireworks has been going on for a number of years now and attendance has grown rapidly. The display was fantastic and it really was in every way possible a community event and Marsh Farm Futures are proud to be able to bring this free event to residents.

“Our thanks to Luton Borough Council and Nisa local for their contribution to the success of Marsh Farm Fireworks and all the staff and volunteers who worked very hard to make this a memorable evening for everyone.”

Ambassadors of Change Programme

The Ambassadors of Change Young Adults Project is a joint partnership strategy led by Marsh Farm Futures (MFF) and partnered by The Walk to Freedom Foundation and Develop.

The programme is funded by the Police Crime and Commissioner’s funding. The programme has 7 different phases that will include self-reflection, looking into drug and alcohol use, an employability course and the delivery of a summer programme to name a few.

The Ambassadors of Change Young Adults Project is for up to 10 young adults (M/F) aged 17 – 21 who are on a transitional pathway to changing their lives and would benefit from an opportunity to take the first steps to becoming an outreach worker/ volunteer or becoming ready for employment.

The project started in May 2018 with a 5 day residential programme in Somerset. Other phases of the programme are ongoing and will culminate in a Celebration of Achievement Evening where families, guests, and dignitaries will come together to celebrate the achievements of the new Ambassadors of Change.

Bedfordshire Police hold Public Meeting in Futures House

A public meeting was recently organised by Bedfordshire police to discuss the current rise in knife crime in Luton. The meeting was attended by over 150 members of the public and highlighted issues concerning knife crime and what the public is expecting from the police.

Assistant Chief Constable, Jackie Sebire said: “We are one piece of the puzzle in terms of driving down knife crime, and we can’t do it alone. Therefore it was really important for us to meet with people from the communities we serve to have a frank and honest discussion about knife crime, which has risen nationally in recent years.


“I’m pleased we were able to speak to people about the work we’re doing to tackle knife crime and how important it is for us to do this.  Even more importantly though, we were able to hear from the public about their thoughts on knife crime, and how we can continue to tackle this. The meeting was incredibly valuable, and we will continue to engage with our communities moving forward.”

Marsh Farm Fireworks

Marsh Farm Fireworks went off with a spectacular, colourful and musical bang at the display held at Lea Manor Fields on Sunday 5th November 2017.

Marsh Farm Futures, with sponsorship support from Nisa Local and Luton Borough Council, brought this annual event to the community.

Co-ordinated by BT Events, locals and people from across Luton came out in full force to enjoy the display. Officers and staff from Bedfordshire Police and St John’s Ambulance were on hand to make sure everyone had a safe and enjoyable time.

Local resident, Chloe Clarke who attended the Fireworks display said: “It was fun with a good turnout. I really enjoyed it.”

Young person, Shai Chin who also attended the display said: “It was really good!”

Speaking after the event, Chief Executive, Mohammed Rafi said: “Hearing these positive comments from people who attended, shows us all why this is such a worthwhile event. Our thanks to this year’s sponsors, Nisa and LBC and also all the staff and volunteers who contributed to making this a success. The turnout was brilliant and we look forward to seeing you all again next year.”

Marsh Farm Futures Annual Partners Meeting

Marsh Farm Futures was proud to host its Annual Partners Event on Monday 7th August 2017. The event was well attended by partners and attracted quite a varied audience.

The evening was opened by Cllr Roy Davis, Chair of the board of Trustees for Marsh Farm Futures. Chief Executive, Mohammed Rafi gave a presentation on the achievements of Marsh Farm Futures in delivering its strategic objectives to the local community and spoke about the future plans to work more with the community and partners.

Areas discussed included how Marsh Farm Futures has been supporting the local community and economy through the development and delivery of practical projects, including health, employment and encouraging small businesses to grow with affordable rental space and hiring facilities.  Mohammed Rafi also spoke about how Marsh Farm Futures was aiming to re-establish one of the much loved features of Marsh Farm, Purley Market and do more work to engage the young people of Marsh Farm.

Paul Thompson Employer and Skills Manager from SEMLEP was one of the guest speakers at the event. His presentation covered education and employment and tools available to deliver these goals to improve the education, employment and wellbeing of not only people in Marsh Farm but Luton and Bedfordshire as a whole.

One of the larger tenants of Futures House, Clare Heywood, gave a well-received insight into the company they run, Heywood House, which offers respite care to people with profound learning difficulties and spoke about how they started as a small unit in Futures House to being one of the largest occupants. She acknowledged how Marsh Farm Futures had helped them to grow within Futures House as the unique space it offered was completely suited to the complex care their clients required.

Margaret Fajolu, from Imercare, one of the initial businesses that set up in Futures House, spoke about how her business had grown and established since.

Ishaq Kazi Programme Manager, event organiser, said:” I am very pleased with the response received from organisations we work with and it is this that encourages us greatly to look forward and build future partnerships.”

Marsh Farm Futures Chief Executive, Mohammed Rafi said:” Thank you to all our guests who took the time to attend our event. It has been a great opportunity to show not just what Marsh Farm Futures are doing in the community but also what other companies and organisations are doing in conjunction with us. We look forward to welcoming everyone again next year and highlighting more of our work.”

Heywood House win Community Business Award

Heywood House, a Day Care Centre for young adults with profound and complex learning difficulties and one of the larger tenants at Futures House, was the deserving recipient of the Community Business of the Year Award at the annual Luton and Bedfordshire Community Awards held on Friday 13th October 2017.

The annual awards show is in its 8th year now is supported by businesses and organisations in Bedfordshire. Marsh farm Futures are one of the proud sponsors of the event and this year sponsored the Community Business of the Year award.

Dave Heywood, from Heywood House said: “It was an honour to receive this award on behalf of all the hard working staff at Heywood House. Futures House has given us the opportunity to develop and grow, establishing meaningful relationships with local businesses and the wider local community. Heywood House is a lifeline to many of our families and we are grateful for the support we have received from all.”

Speaking after the event, Marsh Farm Futures Chief Executive, Mohammed Rafi, said: “Heywood House were nominated for this award by Marsh Farm Futures, who have supported them since their inception. I am very pleased that Heywood House have been recognised for their work and achievements in the local community. Not only are the majority of the staff they employ from the Marsh Farm area, they are also exemplary tenants at Futures House. ”

On behalf of the board of directors and staff I would like to give my congratulations to Clare, Dave and their team.”

High Sheriff Vinod Tailor visits Futures House

On Wednesday 24th May 2017, Marsh Farm Futures were privileged to have another visit from the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire but this time it was Mr Vinod Tailor who took over from Lady Erroll.

During his visit, Mr Tailor was taken on a tour of Futures House where he met staff from some of the businesses and organisations based in Futures House who make a difference in the community through employment opportunities for locals and support.

During his visit, Mr Tailor was taken on a tour of Futures House where he met staff from some of the businesses and organisations based in Futures House who make a difference in the community through employment opportunities for locals and support.

He said: “I’ve been amazed at what I’ve seen at Marsh Farm Futures, different kinds of businesses, community services and activities. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the staff of Marsh Farm Futures and other organisations in Futures House and look forward to working with them now and in the future.”

RevoLuton Arts

Revoluton Arts brought their state-of-the-art pop up theatre ‘Roundabout’ to Marsh Farm for 4 days of intense performances, fun and entertainment.

A host of home grown writers, actors and artists offered an array of entertainment including spoken word, music, home grown plays, workshops and sensory events for both children and adults. One of the plays, riots to Revoluton, written by a Marsh Farm resident, told the story of the growth of Marsh Farm from its earlier turbulent days to the up and coming community that it is now.

The state of the art theatre took a number of days to build and local residents and tenants in Futures house got to see the different stages of the structure being built and marvel at the end result.

Guests were asked to pay what they wanted after watching the performances. There was a good turnout of people of all ages who thoroughly enjoyed watching the talent on show and also getting involved.

Facilities Manager, Robert Debont said:” This is part of Marsh Farm Futures’ commitment to bringing the arts and other cultural and community enriching activities to Marsh Farm. I’m glad it was a success and look forward to more events that help bring the community together and showcase the inspiring talent and creativity that abounds in Luton.”

Youth Awards

Young people from Marsh Farm and surrounding areas were presented with awards at a ceremony held on 10 September 2014 by Marsh Farm Futures, at Futures House,

Marsh Farm, in recognition of their achievements in gaining qualifications in DJ Skills, music and video production.

Marsh Farm Futures secured ‘Awards for All’ lottery funding for Marsh Farm Music Project for young people to develop skills in music and film production. Ishaq Kazi, Programme Manager said:  “It’s great to see a project develop from inception to completion. We are grateful to our funders The Big Lottery, and our partners Jamrock Media for delivering a great project.”

At the ceremony, chaired by Cllr Roy Davis, some of the young people accompanied by their proud parents were presented with AQA awards (part of the Unit Award Scheme (UAS), a ‘can do’ accreditation scheme for recognising learning and success) and guests watched a short film that the young people had put together to show the skills they had learnt in film production.

Speaking at the event, Co-ordinator, Marsh Farm Futures Youth and Community Involvement Manager, Cathy McShane said:” The efforts of these young people can be seen in the work and level of commitment that they showed in completing the project. They should all be extremely proud of their achievements.”

The Chairman of Marsh Farm Futures, Cllr Roy Davis said:” It is marvellous to see all the work that these young people have done. The short film they made was of such a high standard as was the music they produced. Marsh Farm Futures are committed to helping young people from Marsh Farm to achieve their dreams and we will continue to seek further resources to fund such projects. Well done to all.”

Contact: Cathy McShane Marsh Farm Futures Tel: 01582 512555 Mobile: 07703 608 160

Marsh Farm Futures (MFF) is a local community organisation, a registered charity, operating as a social enterprise in Marsh Farm – North Luton. MFF was set up in 2009 to improve the well-being and quality of life for those who live and work in the area in partnership with other providers. MFF owns and manages the newly opened £9m Futures House where integrated services are delivered by statutory and voluntary organisations to residents.