The Pakistan Multicultural Youth and Community Centre has been renamed and will from now onwards be called and known as the PAL Centre. The name not only reflects its identity as Pakistan Association Liverpool the body that oversees and runs the community centre but also the word PAL means friend. The centre will be open to all the local community of Liverpool for recreation, health and education, life styles and fitness offering various sports and activities for the young and old to participate and integrate as equals under one roof regardless of race creed and religion.
Pakistan Association works in and around Liverpool in particular but not exclusively for the Pakistani Community. It works with the inhabitants and the local authorities, voluntary and other organisations. We work to advance the education, promote integration between the various communities of Liverpool, to preserve and protect their good health, and to provide facilities for social welfare, recreation and other leisure-time occupations.
The association is a democratic body it is a registered charity, with elected officers and a committee, it is active in the local community networks in Liverpool to help represent and reflect the ideas and views of our Multicultural- community it serves. The Association is a member of the inter faith group which regularly meet in the PAL Centre. It is an exemplary example of community self-help, it was created by and is led by members of the communities that it serves. All of the board members are drawn from the local communities. We encourage self-help by encouraging people to come up with their own ideas for events and activities, thus working and integrating with local communities to facilitate for the needs of the locals.
The PAL Centre is a unique purpose built multi cultural centre which caters for the needs not just of the Pakistani community but also the ethnic and many neighbourhood organisations on a city wide basis. Since 1977, the PAL Centre has established itself as the identity of the Pakistani Community and has proved an immensely popular link between the community and the local authority, government departments, voluntary organisations; heath related organisations, local fire brigade, Police and many other neighbourhood organisations.
We aim to improve the lives of people who face many disadvantages. We provide support for older people with social activities and to improve their health. We provide support for people who do not work because of unemployment, ill health or age. The centre is very well known for holding regular karate classes and representing the community on a country wide basis. Regular indoor sports, healthy eating classes and yoga classes are held and are very popular within the community. Coach trips are arranged for the young and elderly to various destinations. This helps to tackle the problem of isolation. PAL centre is also used by the local councillors for their surgeries.
PAL centre works to promote towards three main priorities, which are social inclusion for disadvantaged people, support and friendship for elderly people, and positive recreational and educational activities for younger people who live in an economically deprived area.
The centre is particularly keen in enhancing the activities for the elderly. Every Friday after prayers, meal for elderly members of the community is provided. This is becoming very popular and we are now actively seeking funding to expand this facilities to more than once a week.A range of activities takes place at the Pakistan centre which the members and their families are encouraged to take part in. A variety of sport social and educational interests are covered. For example:
- Table tennis
- Five a side football
- Tai-chi classes
- Old People Luncheon Club
- Ladies Zumba Classes
- Gym for ladies and gents
- Chess & Cards
The Muslim state of Pakistan was created on the 14th of August 1947, upon hearing this joyous news the Muslims who had been proud members of the Indian association of Liverpool pledged their allegiance to the newly formed state and decided on that very day to form the Pakistan Association of Liverpool.
Mr Ali Mohammed was elected as the first president of the association and the members met and held their meetings at 17 Kimberly Street, Liverpool 8, this was Ali Mohammed’s home.
One of the aims of the newly formed association was to offer support to the newly founded state of Pakistan. Many of the membership in Liverpool knew that due to the turmoil caused by the partition of India their families and loved ones back home were facing great hardship.
The association also provided early settlers in Liverpool with a meeting place and a link with their homeland.
As the Pakistani community in Liverpool grew the association went from strength to strength and through the association they were able to keep their culture alive celebrating religious days, being able to listen to music and news from Pakistan.
In 1969 Mr Ali Mohammed resigned as president as he wanted to pass leadership of the association to someone whom he thought could better deal with and cater for the needs and aspirations of a growing community, the association needed to work and liaise with other bodies to grow and offer the best possible social welfare facilities to its members, high on the agenda was a community centre.
The second president Mr Syed Safiruddin was duly elected in 1969, Mr Syed Safiruddin was an extremely capable, well educated gentleman who through a lot of hard work and self sacrifice achieved everything that the association could have wished for, he gained the recognition and support of Liverpool City Council and on the eleventh of December 1976 he laid the foundation stone for a brand new purpose built youth and community centre, the centre was opened in 1977 by the then lord mayor of Liverpool.
*May Allmighty ALLAH bless them with JANNAT-AL-FIRDAUS, AMEEN
In 2005 Mr Mohammed Arshad was elected as the third president, of the association during his presidency he steered the association towards providing more accessibility and greater links with the wider community encouraging more integration and understanding.
In 2007 Mr Sarfraz Ali who has been a long standing and respected member of the association having previously held the position for many years of general secretary was elected as the latest president and under his leadership and guidance the Pakistan Association of Liverpool continues to provide an excellent range of services to the Pakistani community in and around Liverpool.
PAL centre was built in 1977. At the time the facilities provided were sufficient to cater for the need of the community. However, since then the community has grown considerably and therefore the need for extra space and numerous other activities demanded by the community became paramount for us to either refurbish the existing centre or to look for larger premises.
It was clear that the centre needed a complete refurbishment in order to deliver the services demanded by the community. We decided that the best course of action was to secure substantial grant to refurbish the existing centre.
We are extremely grateful for the Big lottery Reaching communities fund who gave us substantial grant to totally refurbish the PAL centre. This will enable us to provide up to date facilities for many more activities.