THE years fell away on Friday as an organisation that has nurtured and emboldened young people for 20 years celebrated its rich and varied past.

Aik Saath welcomes young people of different faiths and backgrounds to its meetings in Church Street, Slough.

At Friday's celebration dinner held at the Elite Banqueting Suite in Wexham Road current young members mingled with people from its past.

Well wishers from the police, Slough council - including mayor Cllr Paul Sohal - and the town's schools were among the 200 guests.

Selma Chowdray, one of the group's first young members now a youth worker was a welcome presence as was Slough's former MP Fiona Mactaggart who was a big supporter of the group for many years.

Young members Flora Kaur and Abdul Khawaja compered the evening, while at one point the Mayor Cllr Sohal joined Aik Saath chairman Sahdia Khan and chief executive Rob Deeks cutting a celebration cake.

A new booklet was launched that looks at the way young members of the group have worked with the community over 20 years.

Aik Saath began in the late 90s after a bout of violence between young Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims.

Since then its young members of all faiths have worked in the community visiting ordinary and special needs schools, working on heritage projects - interviewing older people about their memories, creating murals, using music and cookery to work with the community. The group has also provided support to young carers and encouraged active involvement with social issues through question times.

Rob Deeks has been chief executive of Aik Saath for nine years. He said: "We are described as an organisation but we feel a family."