St Vincent & The Grenadines Association (Reading) was founded in 1983 to promote charitable activities for the benefit of Vincentians both in the UK and in St Vincent & The Grenadines (SVG). These include promoting social inclusion for our members and beneficiaries who are excluded from society on the grounds of their ethnic origin, age or physical abilities; promoting health and wellbeing among our members; and fundraising to help victims of natural disasters in the Caribbean.
In order to reflect the large number of people who are not of Vincentian heritage but who contribute so selflessly to support the Association’s activities, the association has amended its name to “ St Vincent & The Grenadines and Friends Association Reading.
SVGA Reading is a founding member of the Caribbean Associations Group (CAG) which comprises Barbados & Friends Association, Jamaica Society & Friends and SVGA Reading. These three organisations work closely together and have organised several joint events, including the annual New Year’s Eve Dance, for their mutual benefit. The proceeds from these events are being used to foster closer relationship between all the Caribbean groups in the Reading area. One of the key aims of the CAG is to acquire premises which would be owned and managed by the Caribbean diaspora where their members would be able to celebrate, entertain and educate, and to organise more fundraising activities to deliver its aims and objectives.
The Officers of SVGA Reading for 2019/2020 are: Pol Exeter (Chairman); Lisa Haines (Secretary) and Sharon Wickham (Treasurer). Other elected officers are Dudrey Browne (Vice Chair); Uda Chalk (Welfare Officer); Carmel Harper (Catering Officer); Beulah Mars (Carnival Coordinator); Janice Lewis (Youth & Education Officer).
SVGA Reading’s new mailing address is at 35-39 London Street, Reading RG1 4PS. SVGA Reading wish to express their gratitude to the Reading International Solidarity Centre (RISC) for providing the mailing address.
SVGA Reading intend to apply for charitable status and we have already amended our constitution to ensure that our activities are wholly for charitable purposes. We already broadly operate according to this principle and intend to apply to the Charity Commission before the next annual general meeting.
The 40th Anniversary Independence Ball, held in October 2019 at the Hilton Hotel, Reading, was the biggest one yet, with 330 guests bringing the capacity of the Hilton Hotel to its maximum. The proceeds from the raffle at this event have been given to the Sickle Cell Society UK, and three special needs schools in SVG. These are the Sunshine School in Bequia, and the School For Children With Special Needs in Kingstown and in Georgetown.
SVGA Reading welcome new members who share their ethos and want to help deliver the aims and objects of the Association. If you would like to become a member of SVGA Reading, please complete and return a membership application form or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. General meetings are usually held at Earley St Peter’s Church Hall in Reading every two months.