The Forum was established in April 1998 following a meeting of local residents who shared a common concern to ensure that local facilities were improved - against a background of derelict shops and a palpable fear of crime - focused on the needs and welfare of the wider community, incorporating improved youth provision and quality of life for the large elderly population.
Since its formal inception in October 1998 the Forum has engaged key stakeholders to bring about a positive change in the community. This has led to a number of important initiatives including: a major push to improve transport connections with regular bus services now provided for the community. The employment of Community Learning Champions, a Health Trainer, a Healthy Activities Co-ordinator along with a Project Manager, has built up an engagement programme with the community covering topics such as training, community audits and community health and well-being projects.
Vision for Woodhouse and District Community Forum
“By 2025, Woodhouse will be able to offer opportunities for all to be healthy, educated and active by building on the strengths of an inclusive community in a thriving and prosperous environment”
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The body set up to do this is called the Executive Committee and it comprises of 6 members elected at the AGM for a 3 year period and 2 of its members stand for re-election every year. No qualifications are necessary but knowledge of the forum and the work it does and experience of local issues are 2 of the components required. This format has been in existence since the formation of WDCF in 1998 and works well.
Howard Constable - Chair
I have been a member of Woodhouse and District Community Forum for approximately 8 years. In those 8 years I have been a Trustee for 6 years and the Chair for 5 years. I am a retired apprenticed trained Mechanical Engineer and educated to City and Guilds standard. I have been a Trade Union Representative and have held numerous posts within the Trade Union all my working life, with experience in negotiation at all levels. At present I am also a member of Badger Tenants and Residents Association and on the South East Area Board of Directors of Sheffield City Council Housing. I have also achieved a University entrance qualification in Social Enterprise.
Elizabeth Turton - Secretary
I have lived in Woodhouse for over 20 years with my husband. Before having my 3 children, I worked for HSBC for 10 years as a Clerk/Administrative Assistant. I then became a full time mum and housewife. After my third child I applied for the position of Community Learning Champion, working for Woodhouse & District Community Forum. The job involves talking to members of the local community to find out the types of courses they wish to attend and then arrange for tutors and venues. I have been doing this job for three years. Eighteen months ago I became the Secretary of the WDCF which involves taking minutes of meetings and distributing them to the members. I have enjoyed becoming involved in my local community and am pleased to be able to help.
Graham Postello - Trustee and Company Secretary
I am a retired joiner and worked for Kier Sheffield maintaining the housing stock for Sheffield Homes. I am Trustee and Company Secretary for the Woodhouse and District community Forum, also coordinator for the Badger Neighbourhood watch. I became interested in the Forum some years ago when I wanted to know what was happening in Woodhouse and have since been actively involved in some of its projects. The enthusiasm of the members to start and see projects through undaunted, became addictive and I just wanted to be part of it!
Maurice Birch - Trustee
Maurice has 25 years experience in engineering construction as a pipe-fitter, working on major construction sites such as Flixborough, Lindsey Oil Refinery and Drax power station. In 1985 Maurice left Drax Power Station to take a two-year residential course at Northern College, and on to Sheffield University for a degree course in Social & Economic History, Politics and Employment Law. While working on the major sites Maurice was a shop steward, convenor and safety representative. Work-related health & Safety and Occupational Health became a hobby for Maurice. He was a member, and then later went on to become the Secretary of the Sheffield Area Trade Union Safety Committee for many years. For many years Maurice was the Branch Secretary of his Trade Union and delegate to many Regional and some National Committees. Maurice was an early member of the Sheffield Occupational Health Project and worked in many G.P.'s surgeries across the city dealing with work-related health problems. Also Maurice worked as a part-time lecturer in the Trade Union Studies Department at Granville College (now known as The Sheffield College) after graduating from Sheffield University in 1990, until his retirement in 2006, Maurice became involved with the Woodhouse Forum as a result of being involved with the fight to save the old Woodhouse Grammar School Community Centre.
Jim Turton CEng MIET - Trustee
I have been resident in Woodhouse for 50 years. I am married with three children, all of which have attended the local Primary and Secondary schools, two of my children are presently moving through school and the eldest is now studying at University.
I have been a local primary school Governor undertaking the role of Chair of the schools Premises and Community Committee for 9 years and at the same time attending as a member of the Parents Committee at our local Secondary school. I have been fortunate to see many positive developments in both our Primary and Secondary schools over this time and feel that parent representatives can provide a valuable contribution.
More recently I joined the Woodhouse & District Community Forum as a member of the board of trustees. I have been very pleased to support this positive work in our community and seen first-hand the educational and social benefits this organisation can offer as well as providing a platform for community involvement and communication. I have been particularly pleased to be involved with the venture to preserve the library service within Woodhouse which is supported by a team of very dedicated staff and volunteers.
I hope to continue providing my support to Woodhouse Community Forum and to continue to support the Library Services in Woodhouse.
Alan Charlesworth - Trustee
I am Alan Charlesworth, I was born in the Masbrough district of Rotherham and my education came from both Ferham Nursery and Kimberworth Secondary Schools. In 1962 I started as an apprentice in engineering, achieving the City and Guilds in engineering and working at the same place of work in different guises for 45 years until my early retirement through ill health. After having surgery, my health improved a little and I needed something to do, so I joined Woodhouse Tara and the Woodhouse Forum to give something back to my community where I live.
Joan Longstone-Hull – Trustee
I was born and raised in Woodhouse, attending schools in the neighbourhood. I moved to live in the West Country in the early 70’s and then back to Woodhouse in 1992.
Although I work full time, I value being able to participate in local activities too. For a number of years I volunteered at a local primary school, eventually becoming a Community Governor, serving for approximately 8 years.
In addition to being a member of the Woodhouse & District Community Forum, I volunteer at the Woodhouse library and also at the Woodhouse garden/allotment project. Volunteering locally is an excellent way to keep myself informed of what is happening in the district and I feel privileged to be able to give something back to the area where I live.
I have been with Woodhouse and District Community Forum since 2005 when I joined and set up the Woodhouse Youth Forum. As the Chairman, this sub group is focused on youth projects and community events. Since working with the Forum I have organised community events every year with the Summer Carnival and Christmas Market. I also deliver Youth Drama Groups as well as the Supporting Change Project which was aimed at building community cohesion and supporting young entrepreneurs and developing their business ideas. In 2015 I became a trustee of the forum.
In my spare time I enjoy doing a bit of amateur theatre with Darnall Musical Theatre company performing and producing a summer show and a pantomime each year.
I am very passionate about making Woodhouse a great place to live bringing all the members of the community together, through community events, adult education, youth groups, community library and all the exciting times to come in our community hub.