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British Independent Retail Association (BIRA) Community Awards 2015

At the recent BIRA Conference our Trustee Alan Wolstencroft, the owner of Fashion Fabrics in Banbury, was awarded the Charitable Champion Award, at the Gala Dinner, for his outstanding work in Sierra Leone.

Delegates were informed that during the past year, although Alan had not visited Sierra Leone because of the e-bola crisis, he had continued fundraising for the development at 3 schools that he supports including providing subsistence allowances for the teaching staff.

Alan had undertaken 36 speaking engagements raising £14,350 of a total of £33,600 raised during the year. Since his first involvement in Sierra Leone, 10 years ago, Alan has delivered 290 talks raising a total of £63,400 of a total of £124,100 for his Sierra Leone projects.

Alan was presented with a certificate, a plaque and a bottle of champagne and a cheque for £1,000 towards his ongoing projects.

Alan acknowledged the support that he receives from his family, his staff, customers and suppliers, BIRA members, Westminster Group PLC, Goodwill & Growth for Africa UK Banbury Rotary Club and dozens of organisations and hundreds of individuals.

Alan explained that he is returning to Sierra Leone at the start of June and some of the money may well be used to pay school fees (£10 per term) for children whose families cannot afford to pay the fees due to the increased cost of living caused by the e-bola situation.

Alan explained that every £ goes directly to the projects and that the money will help him to continue to “make a real difference” in Sierra Leone.

 

Alan Wolstencroft Award
Alan receives his award from Neil Robinson, Group Accounts Sales Manager, Toolbank (award sponsors) and Tony Hawks, the Awards compere who is a TV and radio comedian
Alan Wolstencroft Award speech
Alan delivering his thank you speech

Rice presentation

WASS team led by DASM john Drummond was warmly welcomed by the Paramount chief and his kinsmen and were ushered into the chiefdom local court venue which was utilised for the presentation ceremony. SDM Ibrahim Koroma made a brief statement on behalf of the Company explaining the imperative need for WASS to work side by side with the local authorities in the fight against EBOLA wherein he made mention of the holding centre constructed by WASS for the chiefdom as an excellent approach to mitigate the rampant spread of EBOLA. DASM John spoke on the importance of WASS contributing to the fight against EBOLA

Responses

  • The local chief in charge of the section where the Paramount chief hailed from in the person of Pa Alimamy Kapen expressed sincere thanks and appreciations to the entire WASS family for the unflinching support in the fight against EBOLA, and stated also that the chiefdom is appreciative of the fact that WASS has provided employment facilities for the youths.
  • The Paramount chief reiterated that WASS has contributed immensely to promote community development, Notwithstanding, the chiefdom is anticipating to initiate a chiefdom partnership society wherein they will be looking into sourcing/soliciting assistance for the award of scholarship for educational pursuit for sons and daughters of the soil in the future, they will attract the attention of company /agencies based in Lungi.

Finally, DASM John, presented the ten sacks of rice to the Paramount chief on behalf of WASS as a good will gesture in the fight against EBOLA, and subsequently photographs were taken

Rice Donation

Christmas gifts for Don Bosco Orphanage

Xmas-537Xmas-049Xmas-584Shortly before Christmas we were able to deliver some Christmas Stockings to the children at Don Bosco Orphanage, along with a donation to the Orphanage to enable them to buy some gifts for the children. The Orphanage was set up following the impact of the Ebola crisis to accommodate children who had lost their parents to Ebola and is housed in a former school. Karen Young and John Drummond from Westminster Aviation Security Services Ltd, visited the Orphanage and met the children and their carers to hand over the donations.

Cozy Comforts help Ebola crisis

children in onsiesPupils at Sibford School near Banbury raised a staggering £1115 when they held a ‘Cosy Comforts’ day in aid of the Ebola crisis.

The students paid to come to school dressed in various styles of onesies, blankets, lounge-wear and pyjamas, with all money going towards the Westminster Group Foundation Ebola Crisis Appeal.

Alan Wolstencroft visited the school to see pupils in their cosy costumes, to talk about the situation in Sierra Leone and explain how the money will be used.

We are very grateful to the Sibford pupils for their generosity towards this appeal.

Westminster creates secure treatment centre in Sierra Leone

Treatment centre fenceWestminster have assisted the paramount chief and other respective elders in the Kaffu Bullon Chiefdom in Sierra Leone create a temporary holding/treatment centre for suspected Ebola Cases in the district.

Westminster have provided the materials and manpower to erect a perimeter fence to create a safe and secure environment for the treatment centre which is considered vital for the well-being of the community.

Westminster Construction Project Manager, Richard ‘Dicky’ Francis surrounded by his construction team and civic leaders
Westminster Construction Project Manager, Richard ‘Dicky’ Francis surrounded by his construction team and civic leaders

Chacombe CEVA Primary Academy – Supports West Africa

School ChildrenWe are grateful to the Chacombe CEVA Primary Academy who have kindly donated all their old tables and chairs to the Westminster Foundation following their recent refurbishment of the school.

Westminster will be shipping these out to Sierra Leone, free of charge, and together with GAGA will allocate these to selected schools providing much improved facilities for pupils. Donations such as this can make a huge difference to the lives of those in need and we thank the staff and governors of Chacombe CEVA Primary Academy for their generosity.

Kick Ebola Out T Shirts

In the ongoing battle to contain and prevent the spread of Ebola it is important to raise awareness amongst communities.

In Sierra Leone, Bai Shebora Sheba Gbereh III, the Paramount Chief of Kaffu Bullon Chiefdom which includes the Lungi region, has been very active in raising awareness of his people and in that respect approached Westminster to ask if we could produce awareness T Shirts for the community bearing the slogan “Kick Ebola out of Kaffa Bullon, Sierra Leone”.

Westminster were happy to assist and promptly arranged for printed T Shirts to be made and delivered to the community.

Presentation of Kick Ebola Tshirts
Chief Bai Shebora Sheba Gbereh III displaying one of the T Shirts

Left to right in picture:
Mohamed S Kamara – Deputy Terminal Manager FNA/Community coordinator for Ebola locally
John Drummond – Deputy Aviation Security Manager WASS
Bai Shebora Sheba Gbereh III – Paramount Chief of Kaffu Bullon Chiefdom
Ibrahim Koroma – Security Duty Manager WASS/ Community liaison Officer
Foday K Sannoh – Major RSLAF Lungi Battalion Garrison

The container arrives at Calvary School

GAGA News 17_01This week Westminster transported a container from the docks to the airport and under the supervision of Mick Oxlade the goods were unloaded and 100 boxes of donated goods will now be distributed. The REALLY good news is that the empty 20 foot container was taken to Calvary Community School for them to use as a secure storage facility freeing up a classroom that is currently being used for that purpose. A very excited and grateful Pastor Mark was over the moon with the news about the donation of the container.

GAGA News 17_02HUGE sincere thanks to Westminster Group PLC for this fantastic donation and for all their continued support.

All that needs doing now is to offload it, but with no crane on the lorry in true Sierra Leone style you just get on with it. Health & Safety is a priority as you can see by the high visibility tabard.

Quite a crowd gathered to watch but with supervision from Mick, Dickie, Shane & Moses of Westminster Aviation Security Services & Pastor Mark on hand what could possibly go wrong?

GAGA News 17_05These may not seem very exciting pictures to us, but for everyone at Calvary School this means so much. They can now clear the classroom and start using the container to store items. In September they will start using the classroom for education purposes. A really big thank you to everyone at Westminster Group PLC for this fantastic donation which will “make a real difference”.

Westminster Group PLC continue support for GAGA

Westminster are going to be sending another sea freight container to Freetown in the next few weeks, the container is due in Banbury this week. They are willing to donate any spare space to Goodwill & Growth For Africa UK for items of humanitarian aid for my projects in Freetown. This is a great offer and Alan would like to express his sincere thanks to everyone at Westminster for this fantastic continued support.

Contact Alan Wolstencroft for more information