Amongst all the outstanding work going on in clubs across the length and breadth of Scotland, the name of Westquarter & Redding Cricket Club stands out. Formed in 1908, the club has always sought to place itself at the heart of its community, but after achieving Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation status as Bailliefields Community Hub (BCH) in 2021, the sky is now the limit as it looks to expand its mission still further.
“The club membership has always drawn from, and been part of, the local community,” said Paddy O’Growney, a Trustee of BCH, “and becoming a SCIO was [both a continuation of that vision and a reflection of] the diverse nature of [the club’s ongoing work]. Cricket will always remain an intergral part of that, but we want to widen [what we do].
“In 2015 the original farmhouse building on our site was successfully converted to a children’s nursery, and Glenbervie Kindergarden opened their doors. That rental income has allowed BCH to invest in equipment, ground improvements and community programmes each year to improve facilities and, [with that], the lives of [local people].
“But we believe we can make an even bigger impact, [and] this is why we are seeking to carry out a further development of our facilities. Phase 1 will see the installation of a new modular building to replace our current facility and allow us to run more community events all year round. Phase 2 will then see the redevelopment of our existing changing rooms and storage building to provide a community hall, office, kitchen and toilet facilities.
“Phase 1 has planning permission, and we are currently working towards the building warrant: the majority of the funding for this phase has already been secured. We expect to place the order for the modular building in September and for it to be fully up and running by February 2023. Phase 2 has planning permission and is part-funded at this stage and we are actively seeking to raise the remaining funds through a number of events and funding partners.”
As part of those efforts, BCH is raffling off a particularly special prize.
“Falkirk Distillery has very generously donated the 111th cask of Cadgers Whisky distilled at Falkirk Distillery,” said Paddy. “This is worth just under £5,000 and will help raise funds to make BCH a Place for All. Tickets cost £10 each, and with only 2,000 tickets available this is a fantastic opportunity to win your own barrel of this limited edition whisky.”
There can be few more worthy causes: BCH’s commitment to its community is truly inspiring.
“Our vision is to make the Hub ‘A Place For All’, and our community hall will include a state-of-the-art disabled toilet facility (Changing Place), the first on the east side of Falkirk, making everyone feel welcome by making the new facility to be as inclusive and accessible as possible.” said Paddy.
“The redeveloped building will also allow us to form new partnerships with educational, community, social and charitable groups as well as expanding our existing partnerships, which include Alzheimer Scotland and Braes High School. This would see developments such as a dementia café and allow us to offer a wide range of volunteering opportunities and out of school learning to Braes students. We have signed up to, and been accepted as, a Young Person Guarantee employer covering those volunteering opportunities, and the new facilities would allow us to [grow those still further, allowing] young people in the local community [the chance] to gain real world experience in an out-of-school environment. It will also allow us to provide a much-requested after-school care service to local families through our existing relationship with Glenbervie Kindergarden.”
The story of BCH is already a remarkable one: its commitment to its community and genuine inclusivity is truly inspiring.
“Making activities inclusive is one of our top priorities,” said Paddy. “We [were one of the first three] Disability Cricket Champion Clubs, and our new disability section has been added to our highly successful EP All Stars for Enhanced Provision classes at Easter Carmuirs and Langlees. The EP All Stars programme is now being rolled out nationwide by Cricket Scotland.
“At WRCC/BCH we can also proudly say we are the most ethnically diverse club in the Falkirk area. We have embraced this with Muslim and Hindu events featuring heavily in our calendar of activities. Nineteen per cent of our adult and junior members come from an ethnic minority background and will play a pivotal and leadership role in the future of BCH. We are determined that our board of Trustees reflects this, with 20% female and 20% coming from ethnic backgrounds.
“We want a place where the local community feel they belong, are safe, respected and see themselves having a future in.”
The full details of the raffle, including the purchase of tickets, can be found at https://www.wrcc.org.uk/index.php/events/raffle
More information on Falkirk Distillery can be found at https://www.falkirkdistillery.com