1 October 2018
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – 2018
for the Financial Year ended 31 December 2017
Three caring Goans founded the Goan Welfare Society (GWS) in March 1983, to provide limited assistance to the community living in the UK. In time, two of the original Trustees passed away and the responsibility for the Charity was handed over to the Goan Association (UK) in October 2004 by the then existing Trustee. The constitution was updated and approved by the Charity Commission with four new Trustees appointed by the then Board of Directors. However, as required by the Charity Commission, the Charity must operate 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, Rosy De Souza and Flavio Gracias (Chair).
The Trustees were confirmed at the last Annual General Meeting and Flavio Gracias has continued as Chair of the Trustees, having been appointed to this position in 2013.
This annual report covers the Financial Year 2017, which runs from January to December, the period under review. Our fund-raising activities continued unhindered and we are grateful to the De Mendonça family for their tremendous help in this area.
The Trustees decided to hold a fund-raising event for the first time by holding a function on New Year’s Eve, It was a major success in terms of publicity and, more importantly we raised £5,040.76. We are repeating this fund-raising event in 2018.
The Planned-Giving Scheme has remained static in 2017 and the current annual income from this source was £805.80. We really would like to encourage more of our members to join the scheme. A further instalment of £25,000 of the generous legacy left to GWS by Antoinette De Souza in 2017 has allowed the Charity to increase their scope in assisting needy Goans and we would like to request members of the Goan Community to consider nominating the GWS in their Wills.
REVIEW OF ACTIVITIES
It was an extremely busy year with repatriations of deceased Goans to their families in Goa and this activity continues to be an important part of our work. We have two firms of Funeral Directors that provide this service to the Charity at a fixed cost of £2,100.00. On average, we arrange the airlift of three to four bodies every year and it is worthwhile to point out that burials in the UK cost over twice this figure at £4,600.
We are most grateful to the Goan Chaplains in London & Swindon and also to Fr Gerard, the Parish Priest at St Anselm’s R C Church in Southall for their tremendous help in this area of our work.
Members will recall that in December 2015, GWS was 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 an asthma attack. We raised over £11,000.00 for the airlift and Kenneth De Souza reached Goa safely on 15 December 2015. Paul de Mendonca, one of our Trustees, visited the family in Goa recently and we report with great sadness that Kenneth is still bed-bound but continues to receive tender loving care from his family.
We are grateful to the Goan Community Association (Ealing), together with Cortalim Union and Navelim Union for their considerable support during 2017, particularly for raising funds towards repatriations and other aspects of our work. Other activities during the year included:
i. Assisting Goans suffering with mental health issues to return to Goa for treatment.
ii. Continuing to help families with financial needs where they are experiencing hardship.
iii. Giving advice and support on employment issues.
1. Membership & Planned Giving
Our membership at the end of 2017 was 145 and our objective is to increase this number by at least 20% per year. Concurrently, our aim is to double the number of donors in our Planned-Giving scheme so that our annual income from this source exceeds £1,000 / year.
2. Raising awareness
It is important to increase awareness of the Charity and we will continue publicizing our new website for this purpose.
3. Building Relationships
We plan to foster better relationships with the Indian High Commission, the Portuguese Consulate and Goan Organisations in order that we can better serve members of Community as we approach BREXIT.
Finally, our thanks to Rohan Renard for his help in keeping our website updated free-of-charge and to Esau Rahim, our out-going Financial Accountant for his services over many years. The Trustees have appointed Carringtons, based in Hounslow, as our new Accountants.
Chair of Trustees