A new era has started for Community Central Hall (CCH) in Maryhill Road. The Trust which runs it has been gifted the building by Glasgow City Council.
City Treasurer, Councillor Paul Rooney made the announcement today (Thursday 27 September 2012) during 35rd anniversary celebrations of the popular venue. He said: ‘I’m delighted to be part of the decision to transfer the premises to CCH. The City Council will only do this where best practice is clearly seen and good management has an identifiable track record.’
He added: ‘This place is well known for the public inquiries – such as Stockline – held here. But it has an amazing level of users, workers and volunteers.’
Anna Dyer, Chairperson of the Trust Board which runs CCH, thanked Treasurer Rooney and said: ‘We have a new future to look forward to now because we can access more funding. This will keep the building in community use for future generations.’ She paid tribute to John Gray who, as a Strathclyde Regional Councillor more than 35 years ago, fought to retain the former church for the community.
At an evening reception for members and supporters of CCH Anna presented John with a silver salver to recognise his foresight and his fight.
A clearly delighted John told this website: ‘We were ecstatic 35 years ago when we got possession of the halls. There was a lot of support and a good committee. When the caretaker Jimmy Gordon handed over the big bunch of keys he said all the furniture had been taken away. I discovered the Council had a store full of furniture and got permission to take what we needed. With the Boys’ Brigade, the committee and a whole team of helpers, we made a lot to trips back and forward with two vans till we furnished the place.’ He said the first thing the committee did was double the wages of the caretaker.
An exhibition of past times and community activities is on display in the CCH. Built by subscription in the 1920s, it was used as a church until it became a Community Trust and registered charity 35 years ago.
The anniversary celebrations included a pacey variety concert hosted by Dave Anderson. ‘This is a fantastic facility,’ he told the audience in the Reid Hall. ‘I’ve been using it since I was a boy.’ Entertainment included a toe-tapping routine by pupils of LA Stage School which is one of the newest groups to make CCH their home. Maryhill Integration Network (MIN) provided two splendid sets. First up was a dance and music piece with adults and children singing lullabies from around the world. Later they gave a fashion show with the models dressed in beautiful outfits reflecting ethnic and antique costumes from a wide variety of countries sometimes re-interpreted to show the fusion of cultures.
The world’s longest running Scouts’ Gang Show – the Glasgow Gang Show – gave a harmonious preview of their own show which takes place in November. ‘We’ve been rehearsing in the CCH for 15 years because the facilities are so good,’ said their spokesman.
A seven strong Gospel choir with accompanying drummer from the Redeemed Christian Church of God which worships in the CCH, gave a non-stop praise session which had the power and the conviction of ten times their number.
Commented Dave Anderson at the end of their set: ‘That’s a far cry from the joyless Presbyterian church style I grew up in!’
As the night wore on and the audience decreased, the second half of the show moved to the CCH cafe. The stalwarts who remained had a brilliant treat from Dave Anderson himself. He played keyboard and sang to give a humorous insight into his own musical upbringing. ‘A song I wrote years ago is currently included in ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ thanks to Elaine C Smith remembering it,’ he told the appreciative audience as he sang it for them. With wit and humour, he brought the anniversary event to a happy close.
Friday 28 September was day two of the 35th anniversary celebrations with a children’s fun day complete with a real fire engine and a play bus, a community exhibition in the CCH and dancing to the Black Havana Diamond Band in the evening.
A new network has been set up to help reduce inequalities among people in minority ethnic communities.
Called Alliance Minority Ethnic Empowerment Network (AMEEN), it aims to provide advice and advocacy particularly in housing issues.
The brainchild of Sofi Parveen who is now Chairperson, and friends, it is designed to provide holistic support. Said Sofi: ‘Even though I speak fluent English, I found it frustrating not to be able to access the support I needed and to have to face inequalities in trying to find a job. This organisation will spearhead these issues. We aim to empower families from different cultures and backgrounds. By doing so we will make a powerful statement.’
Funded by Scottish Community Foundation, the group has a working base in Torrisdale Street in Govanhill. It has a drop in session in the nearby Larkfield Centre, Inglefield Street on Tuesdays from 1pm till 4pm and in St Ninian’s Episcopal Church, in Albert Drive, Pollokshields on Thursdays from 1pm till 4pm.
The volunteers who will provide the support for AMEEN clients will be trained and given personal development opportunities.
At the launch event, dramatised accounts of some real life experiences were acted out to show how advocacy can bring a suitable solution to sometimes difficult-to-handle problems.
Said Sofi: ‘Advocacy can play a powerful role in helping people resolve issues of unfair treatment or discrimination.’
Westminster MP Anas Sarwar, reaffirmed his commitment to helping disadvantaged communities in tackling inequalities. ‘He has been brilliant,’ said Sofi. ‘He understands the kind of inequalities we are confronting.’
MSP Hanzala Malik also attended the opening event. ‘He has expressed a supportive attitude,’ said Sofi.
The Housing Support Project aims to help families and individuals who are currently needing advice and support in housing matters. They will be offered free, independent, confidential and culturally sensitive help from AMEEN.
The organisation can be contacted on: mob 07403491660 or email:email@example.com Languages currently spoken include: Punjabi, Urdu, Arabic, Igbo and German as well as English.