Monday, 24 June 2013

West Park in the Paper Again

On Wednesday 19 June there were two letters in the Yorkshire Evening Post:

Letter: Groups are left to pay price of centre closure

‘The Forgotten Ones’, ‘The Homeless Ones’, ‘The Faceless Ones”’.

All of these can apply to YAMSEN and all its members since Leeds City Council at a stroke, without thought for the “users”, on Friday November 2 2012 announced the immediate closure of West Park Centre.
This was supposedly a ‘temporary’ measure because the ‘electrics were unsafe’.
Seven months later we at YAMSEN are still homeless even though the cost for repairs to the electrics is, I understand, well within the capability of the council’s budget irrespective of Government cuts.
The longer the centre remains empty the greater the risk of vandalism and the possibility of further costs.
What does this closure mean to us?
Remember that we provide a large and varied amount of experience in music and associated activity to many hundreds of children and adults with moderate and profound learning disabilities throughout Leeds and Yorkshire.
We have a large amount of specialised and valuable equipment and instruments scattered (for safe keeping) in a lock-up in Holbeck, various schools and private houses – all most inconvenient.
In spite of this, like the true professionals we are, our excellent work continues.
Neither have we allowed our annual programme of events to be affected (and these are many) nor our weekly classes, choir rehearsals and workshops.
We have achieved this through hiring rooms attached to different churches and a social club – at considerable expense.
Because we believe in our aims and we speak for all those many hundreds we serve who cannot speak for themselves.
All we ask is for West Park Centre to re-open both for YAMSEN and the many other community groups who, like us, have made it their home for very many years.
Name and address supplied


Letter: Seven months... and no repairs

SEVEN months of ‘temporary’ closure and as yet no repairs have been carried out on West Park Centre.

So much undervalued work, benefiting vulnerable children and adults with Special Needs is/was carried out there, in what had become, over the years, a valuable arts and music resource for people throughout Leeds and beyond, shared by many varied groups.
One of the main users, the Yorkshire Association for Music and Special Educational Needs exists – and is run mainly because of the regular and committed help of a large group of volunteers.
At the moment most of our activities are reduced due to lack of suitable alternative premises. In the case of YAMSEN, the lack of storage space for musical instruments, materials AND a Sensory Room has adversely affected the scope of activities we are able to offer.
We eagerly await news that at least a part of the centre will be renovated so that the building can be ‘reconnected’ to the people of Leeds.
A Gilliam, (YAMSEN committee member)

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