UJIA chief promises home sale benefits

By Cathy Forman, September 29, 2010
Going out on a high note: caretaker Michael Black with local leaders

Going out on a high note: caretaker Michael Black with local leaders

The incoming Manchester UJIA chairman has pledged that proceeds from the sale of its Mamlock House site will be ring-fenced for the community.

Hale-based Andrew Joseph, 47, who has served the organisation for 20 years, steps up from his role as vice-chair. "It is the intention that the proceeds from the sale of Mamlock House will be committed to a community asset," he said. "The exact nature of that asset is still to be decided."

Many of the charities which worked from Mamlock House had hoped that future plans would include their being back under the same roof. However, Mr Joseph considered this unlikely.

"There is a possibility for the future but in practice some of those organisations will become settled in their new premises - and in reality there is limited synergy between the organisations." UJIA has taken premises in Altrincham, in south Manchester, where "the community has grown considerably as has the UJIA donor base". As for the Mamlock House sale, "we are writing to interested parties to confirm a date for best bids for the property."

Outgoing chairman Keith Black, who will become vice-chairman, was cited as "inspirational" by Mr Joseph. "He is a hard act to follow, but I look forward to the challenge and to working with the UJIA lay leaders and fundraisers.

"Our goal is to raise awareness of the UJIA and its programmes among the younger generation."

Mr Black said his successor was "hugely popular, a man of first class integrity who is committed to leading the UJIA".

With Mamlock House closing in a few weeks, representatives of organisations formerly based there gathered on Monday to pay tribute to long-serving caretaker Michael Black.

Joy Wolfe, Manchester Zionist Central Council life president, said: "Michael has been amazing. Nothing ever seems to have been too much trouble for him. He has always gone beyond the call of duty and often donated his time for charity events."

Mr Black, 71, said: "It never seemed like work because I was so happy."

Last updated: 11:23am, September 29 2010