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Thursday, 22 November 2007

Local Residents Object to Hostel Scheme in Darnall

Local residents met in Darnall this week to consider proposals for a new hostel for homeless people on a site in Waverley Road, Darnall. Fifty residents attended the meeting and agreed to launch an action group to work for the continued regeneration of Darnall by making sure that local developments are more appropriate to the area.

The meeting came up with a number of concerns about the scheme, such as its proximity to a local park where unaccompanied children go to play, the fact that it will have wardens during the day but not at night, doubts about who exactly will be allowed to live there and concerns that building a new hostel in Darnall may not be the best way to regenerate a neighbourhood which is already the most disadvantaged in the City according to the Council's own statistics.

Local resident Mrs Sylvia Hamilton said, 'This area has been getting steadily better for many years now. We would hate to see that progress put in jeopardy. We think what Darnall really needs is more social housing for ordinary families who cannot afford the price of starter homes which, even in Darnall, are completely out of their price range. We urge South Yorkshire Housing Association and the Council to think seriously about that alternative.'

Residents of Darnall are being urged by the group to write to SYHA, their local councillors and the planning department. Further information is available from the offices of Darnall Forum in the former Rose and Crown Public House, at 245 Main Road in Darnall.

Women Only Self Defence Classes

Women only Self Defence will be taking place on Tuesday afternoons from 1.30 – 3.00pm, starting in the near future. The venue will be somewhere in Darnall. There will be no charge but class sizes are limited. Please contact the Forum if you are interested.

This is a joint project with Sheffield City Council and the PMC.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Survivor of 9/11 Addresses Community Meeting in Darnall

Islam Awareness Week came to Darnall for the first time this year with two events, one in Attercliffe and the other in Darnall.

Local residents were invited to visit the Quba Culra Mosque opposite the Don Valley Stadium where there was an exhibition about Islam and a chance to be present for one of the five daily prayer times at the mosque.

At the Darnall Forum Community Learning Centre, on Main Road in Darnall, forty local community leaders also gathered for a seminar with two Muslim scholars, Imam Fadel Soliman who is the director of the Bridges Foundation – an international charity dedicated to building reconciliation between Muslims and other communities, and Mufti Yusuf Akudi who is closely involved in Muslim and inter-faith projects in Dewsbury and in the wider Yorkshire and Humber Region.

‘The purpose of the seminar was to help local people to think imaginatively about ways of working more closely together and to learn from each other’s experiences,’ said senior BME Development Officer, Ghazala Bi who works for Sheffield City Council and Darnall Forum.

Mr Soliman, who describes himself as a survivor of the 9/11 attack in New York, told the meeting how his narrow escape from death had convinced him that he was called to spread understanding between Islam and people from other faiths and none. Mr Akudi described how the 7/7 attacks in London were first reported to him in the middle of an inter-faith meeting. Those attacks had made it all the more important, he said, for people from the Muslim community to work with other people to breakdown division and bring about regeneration in communities like Darnall.

The Revd Vernon Marsh from the Sheffield District of the Methodist Church, and Mr David Missing, who convenes the Darnall Churches Together organisation, gave a Christian perspective on inter-faith community work. Mr Marsh said, “Every part of the city of Sheffield should be a place where people can flourish. People from all faith traditions share a concern for the well-being of individuals and communities. As a Christian I believe it is important to link arms with people from other faith groups to find ways of addressing the problems which diminish people's lives in places like Darnall.”

Mr Mohammed Ali, the Chair of the Pakistani Muslim Centre in Darnall, said that Darnall was becoming a better place to live but that the more people from different faiths and cultures could work together the better things would be.

Bringing the meeting to a close, Mr Abdool Gooljar explained how Islam Awareness Week had grown from small beginnings, with a gathering of only ten people for the first ever meeting fifteen years ago, to events which now attract hundreds of people.

Chair of Darnall Forum, Sylvia Hamilton, said that she hoped this would be the first of many such meetings in Darnall. ‘We have to show the few people who turn to violence that their way of expressing their faith is not going to change things,’ she said, ‘But that working together is the real way to make a difference. This is what we are trying to do in Darnall.’

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Investors in People

Darnall Forum has now received the coveted Investors' in People standard for the way in which it works with its staff and volunteers. We hope you will agree that it is also a reflection of the way we engage with members of the public.

A Chance to Decide Which Bridge You Want

By popular demand, the bridge exhibition, which shows the five competing designs for the new gateway bridge to Sheffield over the Parkway, will be returning to Darnall for two days on Monday 3 December. This time local people will be able to comment on a set of much more detailed designs and say which one they prefer.

For the time being, a set of more basic drawings can still be viewed at the Forum offices until Thursday 22 November.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Exhibition of Bridge Designs for Darnall Residents

Designs for a new 'iconic' bridge over the Parkway into Sheffield can be viewed at the Darnall Forum Offices on Main Road in Darnall until Thursday of this week. The five distinctive designs are for a new footbridge which would mark the gateway between Sheffield and Rotherham. Some use solar powered light as a feature at night. One uses Sheffield's industrial heritage as a starting point for the design. The winning design will begin construction next year. The bridge will carry horse riders, cyclists and pedestrians.

MP Clive Betts is pictured with local residents looking at one of the designs. The Darnall Forum offices are open to the public from 9.30 until 3.30 each weekday. They are at 245 Main Road, which is the former Rose and Crown public house.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Making a Difference to Darnall

A chance for people of faith to talk together about the issues facing our community.
Tuesday 20th November, 6.30pm, at the Darnall Forum Learning Centre, 245 Main Road, S9 4QD

The gap between Darnall and other parts of the city is getting wider. This is affecting people’s chances of getting work, benefiting from a good education, staying healthy and enjoying a good environment and comfortable homes.

This meeting is designed to give people the chance to start talking together about how to change things for the better. A Halal meal will be provided for all to share, then the internationally renowned Muslim academic Fadel Soliman, British Islamic scholar Mufti Yusuf Akudi from Dewsbury, Mr Muhammad Ali, chair of the PMC, and one of Sheffield’s Christian faith leaders, the Revd Vernon Marsh, Chair of the Methodist District, will get the discussion started. This is a good opportunity to meet and talk with people from different faith backgrounds who share similar concerns about Darnall and its people.

Also on Tuesday 20th Nov
Quba Culra Mosque Open Day
120 Attercliffe Road, S9 3TN

As part of Islam Awareness Week the mosque will be open from 9.30-2.30. All are welcome to tour the mosque throughout the day, including prayer times at 1.00 and 1.50pm, and to view the exhibition and artefacts. Sandwiches, drinks and fruit supplied.

Large groups please contact Abdool Gooljar, 07930 313773, to arrange a time.
(Photo of Staniforth Road in Darnall by "React Multimedia")

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Official Opening of our New Community Learning Centre

Sixty people gathered this week for the official opening of a new community learning centre in Darnall run by Darnall Forum. The picture shows Sylvia Hamilton, the Chair of the Forum, cutting the ribbon to mark the opening, with visitors and staff members looking on. The centre, which is funded by Sheffield City Council, Yorkshire Forward and the European Regional Development Fund, is at 245 Main Road in Darnall.

Centre manager, Neil Bishop, said: 'The Centre will be a venue for meetings and learning activities for local people. We are inviting everyone to drop in and see what we are doing. There will be a chance to learn everything from IT to beauty therapy.'

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

South Asian & African Caribbean Diabetes Awareness Day

The truth behind the myths
Come and talk to us from 10am to 3pm on Monday 12 November
at Tinsley Green Children's Centre
34A Norborough Road S9 1SG
“Can I catch Diabetes from someone else?”
“Is type 2 Diabetes mild Diabetes?”
“Should I be eating special Diabetic foods?
Christine, Linda or Jacqueline: 0114 292 2450
For transport from Rotherham please telephone
Helen: 01709 302 612, Anjum: 07768058398 or Sonia: 07733225410

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Workers' Network Lunch

Wednesday 7 November, 12.30pm - 2.00pm Workers' Network Lunch for organisations and funders

· Lunch
· Networking with organisations
· Making contacts and links
· Become more aware of what's happening with other projects

Come to the launch of our new Community Learning Centre

Launch at 2.00pm, Wednesday 7 November
· Come and look round the new building
· Meet the Staff
· Let us know what you like to see in Darnall
· What do you think of the plans for Darnall
· Tea and cakes
· Register onto courses
· Find out about the different Darnall Forum projects
· Voice your ideas