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1 WOODFARM EDUCATIONAL TRUST (WET)* (Principal Office To be Based At: The Former Sports Hall, 1 Burns Grove, Thornliebank, Glasgow) An Introductory Presentation.

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Presentation on theme: "1 WOODFARM EDUCATIONAL TRUST (WET)* (Principal Office To be Based At: The Former Sports Hall, 1 Burns Grove, Thornliebank, Glasgow) An Introductory Presentation."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 WOODFARM EDUCATIONAL TRUST (WET)* (Principal Office To be Based At: The Former Sports Hall, 1 Burns Grove, Thornliebank, Glasgow) An Introductory Presentation By: Dr. Amir Hussain Dr. Naeem Akhtar and Mr. Muhammad Rasheed *Application for Charitable Company Status under consideration by OSCR, as of Feb 2009

2 2 WET: Brief Background - I The sports hall was closed by the council in 1996 and was then leased to the care Charity, Quarriers, who ran a council- funded education project which worked with pupils finding it difficult to stay in mainstream schools. The Quarriers project ended in June 2008. Some local Muslim residents from Thornliebank, Orchard Park and Giffnock, got together to form a new community group (WET) and approached the council towards the end of last year to see if it could lease the building

3 3 WET: Brief Background - II The WET submitted a full proposal to the ERC detailing its proposed plans for use of the building as a multicultural educational centre that would be open to the entire community, regardless of race or religion. The WET also submitted proposals to carry out an extensive (required) renovation and refurbishment of the (run-down) building prior to its use by the local community. On account of the non-commercial nature of the proposed use together with the wider community benefits from such a facility (particularly for ERC’s under-represented Minority Ethnic Muslim community), the ERC entered into direct negotiations with the WET, which finally led to the ER cabinet, at its full Council meeting earlier this year, giving its officials the green light to negotiate a long-term lease for the sports hall and its grounds.

4 4 WET: Brief Background - III The terms of the proposed lease are very clear and require the trust to register as charity before an agreement can be concluded. As per the terms of the lease agreement, rooms for language classes, education, social events and informal religious meetings will be provided. The lease also specifies (in line with the original WET proposal) that informal religious meetings will be held in a designated prayer room of the type already provided in the ER non-denominational schools. Sub-letting of rooms to any group or groups will have to be approved by the council. Any future/proposed change of use of the Building shall require aproval from the Council.

5 5 WET: Brief Background - IV WET’s Mosque Plans: The WET is SEPARATELY working on another project (with colleagues in Newton Mearns) for acquiring a new and appropriate facility for a Mosque (for ERC’s growing Muslim community) Prior Community Work Experience: One of our Trust members (Mr. Rasheed) has previously set up a Muslim community organization in Coatbridge known as the “Airdrie and Coatbridge Muslim Society”, which has been running very successfully for the past 5 years –Note: There was huge opposition to this project initially and now is running smoothly with all local residents fully supportive (and WET hopes to emulate this success in Thornliebank)

6 6 WET: Statement of Purposes (1) To advance education, culture, heritage and religion for the public benefit among the residents of East Renfrewshire, particularly the Minority Ethnic Muslim Community. (2) To promote religious and racial harmony for the public benefit among the residents of East Renfrewshire.

7 7 WET: Statement of Activities-I The WEC will achieve its aims and objectives by providing a range of facilities and services, which may include the following: -provide meeting spaces for formal and informal gatherings, including social and cultural events and activities. -provide multi-lingual facilities for teaching e.g. English, Urdu, Quran and Arabic languages (taking account of gender segregation sensitivities where appropriate), -provide after School Homework Clubs to help raise education attainment levels, particularly of the (under- achieving) Minority Ethnic community pupils

8 8 WET: Statement of Activities-II Contd.. -provide IT, education and training facilities (including in liaison with existing Training Agencies), -provide a Prayer/Quiet Room for informal use, particularly at the end of the day when parents may be collecting their children and during Ramadhan, - promote inter-faith activities by organizing seminars, debates and conferences to promote mutual understanding, respect and shared values.

9 9 WET: Board of Directors Names and addresses of WET subscribers Dr. Muhammad Naeem Akhtar, of 3 Glenpark Avenue, Thornliebank, Glasgow – a senior Hospital Consultant Mr. Mohammed Rashid, of 22 Glenpark Avenue, Thornliebank, Glasgow– a Businessman, Entrepreneur and Community Worker Mr. Asghar Bashir, of 9 Glenpark Avenue, Thornliebank, Glasgow – a Businessman and Community Worker Mr. Rafique Akber Chaudry, of 69 Rouken Glen Road, Thornliebank, Glasgow – a Senior Citizen Dr. Amir Hussain, of 51 Merrylee Park Avenue, Giffnock, Glasgow - a senior University Academic & Director

10 10 WET: Conditions of Benefit - I As stated in the founding document, the multi-cultural facility shall primarily serve the (after-school linguistic and religious) educational needs of the minority ethnic Muslim community but will also always remain open to the whole community (regardless of race or religion) to play its part in further promoting the good community relations that we already enjoy in East Renfrewshire

11 11 WET: Conditions of Benefit - II As regards the fees and charges to be levied, in accordance with Article 8 of the Trust’s Articles of Association (and like with any other Club in ERC), each member of WET, shall contribute or procure the contribution of an annual subscription to the funds of the company in respect of their membership of the company. The rates and dates of payment shall be determined by the Directors from time to time at their sole discretion. All members of the Trust shall be able to hire the premises for activities (that are consistent with the aims of the Trust). The hire rates and charges shall be determined by the Directors at their sole discretion, including any discounts for members of the company.

12 12 WET: Conditions of Membership Associate membership shall be open to any individual who supports the aims and objectives of the company (on payment of the appropriate nominal membership fee). Full membership shall be open to any voluntary or community organization which actively supports the aims and activities of the company, is established for charitable or non-profit-distributing purposes and objects, and is run by a voluntary management committee, board of directors or trustees. Membership fee and admission shall be at the sole discretion of the Trustees

13 13 WET: Update on Public Consultations held to-date - I The WET members have to-date participated in a number of meetings at various forums to inform the local community of who the WET is (!) and to seek the community’s input on the WET’s plans for its proposed use of the Hall. However, we have not been able to inform as many people as we would have liked due to limited resources (our organization has not been formed yet, and there are no paid members!)

14 14 WET: Update on Public Consultations held to-date - II Two of the WET Trustees (Dr. Akhtar and Mr. Rasheed) recently attended a meeting of the Minority Ethnic Communities Forum in March 09 (that was co-ordinated by the ERC Corporate Equality Unit’s Farkhanda Choudhry and Chaired by a local Councillor) and updated participants on the WET plans and sought their input and participation. Wide ranging support to the WET plans was expressed by all members of the MEC Forum and some helpful suggestions were received to improve the community’s participation.

15 15 WET: Update on Public Consultations held to-date - III One of the WET Trustees (Dr. Hussain) as a member of the Parent Council of the local Our Lady of the Missions (OLM) Primary School, apprised his colleagues at the School’s Parent Council meeting held in Feb 09 (which Councilllor Jim Fletcher also attended), on the WET’s proposed plans –All participants were extremely supportive of the WET initiative and the OLM School’s Head Teacher is looking forward to using the building for organizing some of their regular faith-based activities/meetings etc. –Concerns raised by one of the Parent Council members regarding potential parking problems and use of the adjacent green area were satisfactorily addressed…

16 16 WET: Update on Public Consultations held to-date - IV …Contd. Issues arising from OLM Parent Council Meeting The WET Trustee underlined the Trust’s commitment to avoid adding to the current traffic congestion and parking problems by carefully timing all the Centre’s activities (the majority of which would be after School anyway) including by employing a Traffic Warden if/when required (and by encouraging local residents to walk!) Additionally, the green space adjacent to the Building would NOT normally be used for WET activities (and would be maintained by the Caretaker)

17 17 WET: Future Plans Plans for future Public Consultation: In the near future, the WET plans to organize an Open Day in the Main Hall of the Building - shortly after obtaining entry to the premises, and following the required (substantial) upgrading and renovation of the Building - and the event would be open to all local residents. –The WET shall give a presentation on the Centre's aims, objectives and proposed activities, to seek the local residents’ comments and suggestions (including through questionnaires) and to answer queries –The WET Open Day shall be an annual event for the local community where participants will be able to freely express their views/concerns on any aspect of the WET’s running –We would like to invite everyone at today’s meeting to spread the word about us and our plans!

18 18 WET: Committed to Openness and Transparency.. The WET shall always be open to constructive comments & suggestions from the local community… The WET shall regularly monitor and evaluate its performance (including its aims of openness & transparency etc.) through the professional means of annual self- reflection and evaluation For further information, please contact any of the Trust members: Dr. Hussain by E-mail: Dr. Akhtar by E-mail:

19 19 WET: Will soon be on-line.. Alternatively, for further information or to contact the Trustees, you will be able to do this by visiting the (presently under-construction) WET website (where the WET’s founding documents will also be made available for download - soon after charitable registration): ANY QUESTIONS?

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