The Goan Welfare Society (GWS) was founded in March 1983 to provide limited assistance to Goans living in the UK. The responsibility for the Charity was handed over to the Goan Association (UK) when the original Trustees had passed away and in October 2004, it was re-constituted with Trustees appointed by the Board of Directors. However, as required by the Charity Commission, the Charity operates as an autonomous body with its own membership and raising its own funds. The present Trustees are: Paul De Mendonça, Norma Menezes-Rahim, Alfred Rebello, Raymond Lobo and Flavio Gracias.
Becoming a member of GWS could not be simpler – just complete the application form and a single “one-off” subscription of £1.00. Anyone is welcome to join the Charity – it would be an achievement if we could reach a target of hundred members.
Over the past few years, the welfare work has shown a considerable demand with the numbers of Goans increasing and also with the ageing community needing more assistance. This has put pressure on the Charity because of a lack of funds and also more importantly because more volunteers are desperately needed – as the saying goes “the harvest is big but the labourers are few”.
In 2010, GWS with support from members of the Goan Community repatriated the body of a fellow Goan (who died unexpectedly) to his family in Goa for burial.
In 2011, GWS raised funds to send a Goan lady (who suffered a stroke) back to her family in Mumbai.
the saying goes “the harvest is big but the labourers are few”.
Thanks to the generosity from our many donors, the above are some great examples of how the GWS stepped in to provide much needed assistance for members of the Community. We have been involved in other welfare work such as prison visits and helping families with domestic problems. The work can only continue if we receive financial support from the community. Donations should be sent to:
In 2013, GWS (with the support of fellow organisations) was able to repatriate the body of another fellow Goan to his family in Verna, Goa. He left behind a wife and two small children in Goa and they were able to say a final farewell to their loved one before burial.
The Goan Welfare Society, “The Firs” 17 Firs Drive, Cranford, Middlesex, TW5 9TA.
SO…..CAN YOU HELP US?
We are starting a fund-raising drive to encourage Goans to:
- Become Members – for £1 subscription
- Give one-off donations
- Join the “planned giving” scheme
- Remember GWS on special occasions – e.g. anniversaries
- Consider leaving a legacy in your will
Help us to help those less fortunate within your community.
Please Download the attached PDF by clicking the link below to donate
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – 2016
The Goan Welfare Society (GWS) was founded by three caring members of the Goan Community in March 1983, to provide limited assistance to Goans living in the UK. In time, two of the Trustees passed away and the responsibility for the Charity was handed over to the Goan Association (UK) in October 2004. It was re-constituted with Trustees appointed by the Board of Directors. However, as required by the Charity Commission, the Charity operates as an autonomous body with its own membership, raising its own funds and holding it own Annual General Meeting. The present Trustees are: Paul De Mendonça, Norma Menezes-Rahim, Alfred Rebello, Bosco Saldanha and Flavio Gracias (Chair).
There have been no changes to the Trustees since the last AGM and Flavio Gracias has continued as Chair of the Trustees, having been appointed to this position in 2013.
During 2015, the year under review, our fund-raising initiatives continued unabated and we are grateful to the Mendonça family for their support in this area, given with great enthusiasm. Towards the end of the year, we were asked to assist with the airlift to Goa of Kenneth de Souza, a young Goan boy who suffered brain damage as a result of a cardiac arrest following a severe asthma attack. The GWS was requested by the family to spearhead the organizational arrangements for this project and we set about a major fund-raising drive. The cost of the airlift by stretcher, arranged through Air India, required an outlay of nearly £11,000.00, which included the cost of a Nurse to accompany the patient all the way to Goa and the respective visa fees.
We were delighted with the response from the Community to our fund-raising appeal, which included a loan of £7,000.00, thus allowing GWS to effect the airlift on 14 December 2015. We are most appreciative of the tremendous help we received from the Medical Team at Charing Cross Hospital and the Air India Management not only at head office but also at Heathrow airport, which ensured that all went smoothly with the airlift. We are also grateful to Neena Naik, the Nurse who accompanied Kenneth all the way to Goa and ensured that Kenneth arrived safely to his family in Goa.
Regretfully, since his arrival in Goa and subsequent hospitalization, Kenneth’s improvement has been very slow but we pray for his eventual recovery in the loving arms of his family.
REVIEW OF ACTIVITIES
Apart from the involvement of GWS with the airlift of Kenneth De Souza towards the end of 2015, we assisted with the repatriation of Sucorro Braganza’s body to Goa earlier in the year. Our other major activity was the processing of the probate of two elderly sisters who were both single and passed away in 2014 and 2015 respectively. As the Executor named in their Wills, Flavio Gracias, with the help of a solicitor was responsible for the disposal of their assets. Other activities during the year included:
i. Providing support where intervention by the Social Services was required, in particular with a member of the Community who was single and suffered dementia. He was placed in a Care Home and we are providing support to the family as necessary.
ii. Helping cases with their medical and financial needs where the family is experiencing hardship. We were successful with the stabilization of a family with marital problems and we are providing on-going financial assistance to another family where illness has forced the parents to give up work.
iii. Continuing to keep in touch with a member of the Community, with no family in the UK, and who is in a home in Hounslow after having recovered from TB in the brain.
In many of our cases, we work closely with the Pilar Fathers, a Missionary Society, based at St Peter’s & St Paul’s Church in Mitcham.
Our financial position is fairly strong with a bank balance as at 31 December 2015 of £19,158.22, which includes a loan of £7,000.00 to be repaid in 2016.
Our membership at the end of 2015 reached 103 and our objective is to increase it by at least 20% per year so that we have a core of members that will continue to give us active support when needed.
2. Planned Giving
Our goal to double the number of donors in our planned giving scheme was not achieved but our efforts to increase the annual income from this source to £1,000 will continue.
3. Raising awareness
It is important that we endeavour to make strenuous efforts to increase awareness of the Charity as widely as possible. It is our intention to develop a website for this purpose so that we become the charity that will respond to the needs of the Community and will also be the main choice for donations at milestone events like birthdays, anniversaries and funerals.