Over 400 guests attended the official opening of the Osmani Centre on 13 February 2012.
Special guests who attended the ceremony included:
– Executive Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman
– Former Lord Mayor of the City of London and a patron of Osmani Trust, Alderman Sir Michael Bear
– BBC’s Junior Apprentice 2011 winner, Zara Brownless
– England (Women’s) Footballer Alex Scott
Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman unveiled the plaque and cut the ribbon to officially open the new Centre, located in the heart of London’s East End.
The Osmani Centre is a partnership development between Osmani Trust and Tower Hamlets Council. The Local Authority contributed the sum of £4.4 million towards the development of the new centre. Osmani Trust raised the remaining difference of £500,000 from various fundraising activities, sponsorship, trusts and grant making foundations.
Guests toured the new building to see and experience for themselves the new facilities and services the brand new Osmani Centre has to offer. They were also treated to a musical performance by members of the Amaal Girls Project, Shanon (who had also previously auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent) and Naomi.
Mayor Lutfur Rahman in his inauguration speech praised the work of Osmani Trust and expressed his commitment “to building more Centres like the Osmani Centre, because this is an investment in our future; because young people are our future.”
Alderman Sir Michael Bear expressed his continued support for Osmani Trust. He said: “As Lord Mayor I have done many speeches, but one of the highlights has been coming here last year to show my support for the building of the new Osmani Centre. Now I am proud to be talking to you standing here in this wonderful new building. I was there at the beginning and I am here as you embark upon your future”.
Secretary of Osmani Trust, Sati Abdur Rahman, reminded everyone of the journey of Osmani Trust (previously Brick Lane Youth Development Association and Elite Youth) and what the Opening Celebration of the Osmani Centre means. Reminiscing about the past and being optimistic about the future, he mentioned: “We have come a long way from the days of the portacabin in the Chicksand Estate and still have much work to do to assist the betterment of our youth and the community at large and we wanted to reflect this in our opening celebrations.”
The grand opening celebrations will continue with a series of events spread over five days showcasing the various services that will be offered from the Osmani Centre.