Working in partnership with a major schools academy trust, Croydon’s Labour councillors have stepped in to halt the sale of a park lodge in order to use the building as a youth centre in memory of 15-year-old Zaian Aimable-Lina, who was murdered in Ashburton Park just before New Year.
The move will give the Oasis Charitable Trust the opportunity to explore the development of the building into “The Zaian Centre”. Aimable-Lina had been a pupil at Oasis Academy Shirley Park.
“To create a lasting legacy in memory of Zaian, we aim to create a youth centre which will offer services that will enable future generations of young people flourish,” a spokesperson for Oasis said.
The Oasis Charitable Trust was founded in 1985 by Rev Steve Chalke. It now operates three secondary schools, two primary schools and a children’s centre in Croydon, and according to Charity Commission records, has nearly £400million-worth of assets.
Today, Rev Chalke said, “Zaian was a much-loved and hugely popular student at Oasis Academy Shirley Park. Our goal – working with Zaian’s family and friends, the whole student and staff body of Oasis Academy Shirley Park and the wider local community – is to create a lasting legacy to a wonderful young man who police say was the victim of a totally unprovoked and brutal attack.”
Chalke is seeking donations towards the cost of purchasing the five-bedroom lodge and undertaking the repairs and refurbishments it will require to convert into a youth centre.
“Please help us honour Zaian’s memory by creating a local youth centre bearing his name.
“Our goal is to provide the space to deliver a wide range of activities and opportunities to local young people to deliver integrated youth work; supporting children at risk of exclusion and exploitation, working to keep young people in school and fulfil their potential, as well as providing practical help for parents and local schools.
“We aim to do this in strong working partnerships with other schools in the area, local voluntary agencies, grassroots groups and community members as well as community police, social and health work teams.”
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