All posts by Roger Worrall

Westminster Foundation Supporting Katharine House Hospice

The Westminster Group Foundation is a proud supporter of Katharine House Hospice based near Banbury in the UK and is continuing that support during these unprecedented times.

Katharine House Hospice provides specialist care service and have now expanded their facility to help support the NHS by providing staff and facilities during this COVID-19 crisis. The hospice has increased its 10 bedded in-patient unit to a maximum total of 26 beds to support the UK national coronavirus response and need in the community.

To support the hospice in this work the Westminster Group Foundation has donated personal protective equipment (PPE) including face shields, face masks and hand held thermometers.

Chapel Repurposed

Westminster Foundation supporting Lungi Community

The Westminster Group Foundation has recently provided a large quantity of stable commodities such as rice, sugar and water to the poor and disabled community in the Lungi area of Sierra Leone. The advent of the Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the temporary lock-down of Freetown International Airport and local businesses which has subsequently caused the community to be suffering financially.

Delivery to a Lungi location

The Westminster Group CEO Peter Fowler commented “that the Westminster Group wished to extend their sincere thoughts and prayers to the people and government of Sierra Leone as they work together to overcome the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. Westminster has been operating in Sierra Leone for over eight years providing security at Freetown International Airport and local employment, it is fully committed to the country and its people and will continue to support the government its employees and local communities as we did during the Ebola crisis”.

Another Delivery

 

The local community elders thanked Westminster for the food and continued support that they are providing.

 

 

 

 

Westminster Group Foundation Quiz

On receiving 15 football tops generously provided from Oxford United Football Club to distribute to the local community in Lungi from Alan Wolstencroft. Neil Fowler decided that he wanted to do something different rather than just hand out the tops. He came up with the idea of creating a quiz paper for local schools to compete for the tops.

He set questions whereby the pupils would have to find out information on the different organisations that were involved in setting the quiz up, from Oxford United Football Club, Westminster Aviation Security Services Ltd (WASS) and The Standard Team, a Lungi based charitable organisation. Eleanor Samba a local WASS employee assisted in setting the Sierra Leone based questions. Neil also wanted to know more about Lungi so set the question “Name three places a visitor should see when in Lungi” there were no right or wrong answers to this particular question, but it was interesting to know what the pupils recommended seeing.

17 entries were received from 4 different schools. The winning entry came from Bullom Ahmadiyya, Muslim Junior secondary school from the Masoila area in Lungi.

During the prize giving the pupils informed Neil that they very much enjoyed completing the quiz and were delighted to have won the football Jerseys. The Teacher who facilitated the quiz for the school said that the jerseys would be worn by the pupils when competing in inter school sports events.

Neil Fowler is an WASS Aviation Security Manager at Lungi International Airport.

Liverpool School gets Government recognition

Government recognition was approved at the start of the academic year in September and has just been confirmed.

The Ministry of Education was so impressed by the infrastructural development at both the Liverpool Junior & Secondary schools, which has taken place in the last few years, hence the recognition.

The majority of the teachers are expected to be paid by the ministry, with effect from January 2020 but there are five junior school & six senior school who are left outside the scheme as there are not adequate funds to pay all staff in the country. The school will also receive items such as exercise books and core subject textbooks.

This is a GREAT step forward for the community and has justified all the investment at the school. Since 2013, when Alan Wolstencroft first visited the School and started the funding of the building & equipping of:

  • 10 classrooms all with water harvesting
  • 2 toilet blocks including water harvesting and hand wash stations at each of the blocks
  • an office/staff room/store
  • installation of a hand pump and improvements to the water well
  • a library & laboratory for the Secondary school complete with water harvesting system
  • a Junior school library room complete with water harvesting system
  • installation of mains electricity to 9 rooms
  • a security wall to form a school compound

In addition we have funded:

  • over 1,400 textbooks to both libraries
  • “Sunny Girl” project – supplying sanitary pads enabling 300 girls better access to education
  • several refurbishment programmes

Mr. Solomon the Headteacher said “Mr Alan, your commitment in supporting Liverpool schools has made a significant change and progress in the lives of the children in our community and we will remain ever grateful to you and all your donors for Making A Real Difference”.

Mahera Wharf community benefits from Westminster Group Foundation support

In April 2018 Alan Wolstencroft of Alans Africa and The Westminster Group Foundation was introduced to our community by Neil Fowler from Westminster Aviation Security Services Ltd. They arrived at Mahera Beach with about 70 Oxford United football shirts and handed them out to children of all ages, as well as some knitted garments and blankets to local ladies with young children and then donated some full sets of Oxford United football team kits.

The community were so pleased to receive these kits as it enabled us to start official football teams for the children of this area. I am so proud to be the Manager of Oxford United Mahera Wharf football teams.

Alans Africa and The Westminster Foundation have allowed us to do a community driven initiative to empower young people via football, education skills training and innovation.

We have made a rule that all the children who play for our football teams must go to school and we have taught them about the important values of education and football that will last with them for all time. We also have discussion groups with the children where they can express themselves about football and other worries they might have in their lives. They can talk openly and we can give them advice to help with their worries. The children are also performing well academically.

We now have an under 10, under 12 and under 14 year-old football teams and I have ten coaches who assist me in running these teams.

Before I became the Manager, I did not have much to do in my life as I did not have a job but thanks to Alan, Neil, Westminster and Oxford United, I have developed as a person, I am much more confident, I am better at communication and through the football I meet lots of other people who I can share ideas with. Our football teams have become so successful that children from other communities and even Freetown want to come and join us, this is because of the standards we set and the quality of the kits and equipment we have.

Alan and Neil are regularly in touch with us and during the last year via the Westminster Foundation Alan has sent over more kits and money so that we could buy football boots. Some of the boys are orphans and are currently living in temporary accommodation and Alan, Neil and The Westminster Foundation have supported us by providing mattresses, as the boys currently sleep on the floor, and they helping us to pay to re-roof the accommodation as the roof is very old and leaks in many places. They have also started to pay school fees for a number of boys who are struggling in this area.

I want to thank Alan, Neil, The Westminster Group Foundation and Oxford United for what they have done for the community of Mahera Wharf, Tulun and Amina, they have given the children and adults hope and something positive to focus on through the football teams.   

We are very proud to be the Oxford United of Sierra Leone.

Abu Kamara – Mahera Wharf Oxford United

Calvary Community School, Lungi

The children attending Calvary Community School in Lungi, Freetown, have never had running water but now, thanks to Alan’a Africa, with support from the Westminster Group Foundation the youngsters no longer have to draw water from a well a quarter of a mile away.

A five classroom school was funded by the charity in 2010, but without any water at the school. Further support has taken place over the years, including the donation of second hand, good quality desks, chairs, other classroom furniture and equipment from the UK which were shipped out courtesy of Westminster Aviation Security Services Ltd and the 20 foot sea freight container was also donated to the school for secure storage.

Alan stated that one of the things he loves about Pastor Mark’s community, is that they rarely ask for anything. “If they need something, they try a bit of self-help to get things moving,” he said. “Pastor Mark’s community decided to improve their facilities for the school and the church by sinking a well and installing a gravity-fed water system. The community held a collection to kick-start the project and, with the money, raised they were able to complete the well.”

The next phase was to build a tower to house a 5,000-litre tank and, with a submersible pump, water will be pumped up to the tank. A number of taps have been strategically placed around the compound giving a readily available source of fresh, clean water and there are also two flushing toilets, another first for the community

Having been provided with detailed costings for the tower, tank and all the pipework Alan, with support from Westminster Group Foundation promised to fund the work and the project was completed recently.

The system will benefit over 120 children who attend the school, about 250 church members and approximately 1,000 people from the surrounding community and is a major step forward for the entire community.

Pastor Mark was delighted that work on securing running water had been completed.

He said: “Everybody is so excited. For the first time in the church and school’s 20-year history, we have running water. “Members who live close to the school are now coming to fetch water – what a great joy. “Our entire community sends its great appreciation to Alan, the Westminster Group Foundation and Westminster Aviation Security Services Ltd.”

Westminster Group Foundation broadens its support

The Cess Foundation was set up and registered by a young lady called Princess with the aim of helping disadvantaged and disabled people in the Freetown area. Princess is the daughter of a member of Westminster Aviation Security Services based at Lungi airport, who is also involved in a group called Standard Team who support disadvantaged children in the area around the International airport.

Recently the Westminster Group Foundation air freighted some boxes of new polo shirts, courtesy of Westminster Group Plc, out to Freetown and these were donated to both the organisations who have distributed them to members of both communities that they support.

It may only be a polo shirt BUT small donations make BIG differences for these people

Sanaya Academy – Update

Earlier in the year the Westminster Group Foundation committed some funding towards the building of a four classroom block at the Sanaya Academy with additional funding that the Academy sourced the construction commenced.

Despite the rainy season the main structure including the windows and doors and the fitting of the roof has been completed.

The concreting of the floors, fitting ceilings, plastering and rendering, painting and making all the furniture and this will continue as further funds become available.

The completion of the building will provide much needed additional classroom space at the school, as the pupil are constantly increasing, this will be a big step forward within the community.

Liverpool School, Sierra Leone update

As you can see from the photo’s below, the junior library is now  complete.

We are going to re-locate the water tank, shown on the right of the picture below, to a more suitable position where it will not cause an obstruction and it will collect water from the existing classroom block and the library room – this work will be completed this week.

A message of thanks from Liverpool School

We continue to thank you and your supporters, for making GREAT differences in our communities, especially in our Liverpool Schools.

Our community is very proud to have such wonderful facilities that have benefited, and will continue to benefit, generations yet unborn. You have delivered our children from total darkness to a brighter future with promising opportunities.

We will ever be grateful to you ALL.

Solomon Kamara, Headteacher

So what’s next ?

We still need to finalise the purchase of all the text books for both the junior & secondary school and the equipment for the laboratory.

We are also in the process of finalising details for the installation of mains electricity to a number of the classrooms

Sierra Leone Sanaya Academy Freetown – Update

Westminster Foundation  Trustee Alan Wolstencroft has recently returned from a trip to  Freetown where he was able to check on the progress at the Sanaya Academy, where the Foundation is supporting the building of a classroom block.

Alan was also overseeing the distribution of a large quantity of humanitarian aid items that had recently been shipped to the country courtesy of Westminster Group Plc.

Staff from Westminster Aviation Security Services Ltd have been visiting and monitoring the project throughout the building programme, which started last November.

Alan is now pleased to be able to report that Phase 1 of the project (the building of 2 classrooms) had been completed just prior to his visit , with just a few finishing touches still needed.

Alan commented that he was delighted with the outward appearance of the new building but was somewhat surprised when turning the corner when he noticed that there were 3 steel doors leading off the veranda.

The school representatives explained that they had been able to raise sufficient funds during the building programme than enabled them to construct an extra classroom. Showing the Foundation that they are doing all they could to improve the facilities at the school.

Alan commented that it is always great when working on a project such as this that the school is also contributing  towards the project and not just expect everything to be done for them.

The Foundation likes to support a project with a “Hand Up” and not just provide a total  “Hand Out”,  the Sanaya Academy has from the outset of our involvement has demonstrated its’ commitment to try and help themselves.

The completed 3 classrooms measure 6 metres square and are capable of seating up to 45 students.

Part of the support provided by the Foundation was to supply 20 school desks and 140 chairs which had been donated by three local organisations in the Banbury area. These had been shipped on the container and were delivered to the school in time for the official opening of the classroom block which took place during Alan’s visit.

There were enough desks to fully equip one classroom and enough chairs for all three classrooms. This provided a cost saving to the project as the school only needed to make enough wooden desks for two of the classrooms and no wooden benches were needed.

It is hoped to start Phase 2, the second three classroom block, in the next few days, there is a quantity of sand and granite stones left over from Phase 1 of the project to kick start the process.  If all goes to plan the foundations will be laid prior to the onset of the rainy season which is due to start at the end of May.

If you are interested in supporting this project we have a “shopping list” with prices of various items for both the building and the equipment / furniture.

Sanaya Shopping list

Item Unit Cost (SLL) Unit cost £
Cement for bricks (50kg bags)   55,000             6.00
Cement for mortar: foundation, paving, plastering  55,000            6.00
Iron rods (0.5″) 53,000             5.50
Granite stones (truck trips) 3,500,000          370.00
Red stones (truck trips) 450,000            50.00
Sand (truck trips) 600,000            65.00
Timber (boards) 35,000             4.00
Binding Wire (rolls) 350,000             40.00
Doors (metal) 700,000             75.00
Earth for back-filling of foundation (truck trips) 100,000            10.50
PHASE 2. ROOFING & CEILING
Zinc (roofing sheets bundles) 600,000            65.00
Roofing boards:
2″x 6″  37,000             4.00
1″x12″  40,000             4.25
Corner ridges  45,000              4.75
Ceiling joice: 2 x 3  20,000              2.00
Celotex – ceiling boards  43,000              4.50
Filets (bundle)  40,000              4.25
PHASE 3. PAINTING
White wash (litres) 10,000             1.00
Oil paint (gallons) 120,000            12.50
Thinner (litres) 15,000             1.50
Paint brushes  15,000             1.50
FURNITURE
Joint desk & chair (one per two pupils) 80,000             8.50
Classroom blackboards 70,000              7.50

 

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