GUSDA’s notable achievements to date include:
GUSDA has been instrumental in bringing together hundreds of Guyanese and friends by hosting fundraising events which are also designed to promote Guyanese heritage in the United Kingdom. This is of importance to the younger generations of Guyanese in the United Kingdom who are less familiar with Guyana’s rich culture and traditions. The events include the Annual Folk Festival and the Annual Guyana Family Sports and Fun Day.
The Association is thankful for all the support received from volunteers, well-wishers and event participants over the years and looks forward to their continued support in the future.
In 2016, Guyana’s golden jubilee year, the Association’s flagship event, a gala Dinner, Show and Dance was held in conjunction with the Guyana UK Consortium, at the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel under the patronage of Baroness Valerie Amos on 28th May 2016. This grand occasion featured headline acts from Guyana including Jumo Primo (lead singer of the world-famous Byron Lee & the Dragonaires) and Comedienne Liza Singh. Other dignitaries and celebrities included Guyana’s newly appointed High Commissioner, Hamley Case, British Member of Parliament of Guyanese Heritage David Lammy and Arif Ali of Hansib Publications.
The Association’s Golden Jubilee Folk Festival was held on 30 May and featured UK based and international Guyanese artistes including Jumo Primo and Comedienne Liza Singh. These and other events are described in some detail below.
GUSDA’s achievements and support for other worthy causes also include the following:
• In August and December 2015, GUSDA in collaboration with a Guyanese supporter and donor, Orman Griffith, made two shipments of donations to various charitable organisations in Guyana. The December shipment was donated on behalf Orman’s mother, Beryl Griffith, who became a centurion in March 2016 and was a keen sports fan and social activist during her early years in Guyana. The donations included wheelchairs, sports equipment, computers and educational tools
• In 2013, the Association made a monetary donation to the Community Based Rehabilitation Programme (CBRP) (Region 6 Port Mourant Centre) towards the organisation’s feeding component for special needs children and their parents enrolled in CBRP’s education programme.
• GUSDA was pleased to be able to support the 50th Anniversary of the National Schools’ Championships in 2010, with a donation of some 1700 high quality water bottles. This enabled the competing children to remain hydrated and highlighted the importance of good nutrition in improving their performances
• The Association provided financial and technical support to the Guyana Amateur Weightlifting Association Team at the World Masters Weightlifting Competition in 2000 and again at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester 2002. As a result of the technical support received, members of the team achieved personal bests, broke national records and won silver and bronze medals respectively at the above Games. GUSDA also assisted in sending a team of Guyanese Boxers to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
• GUSDA provided the funding to enable Guyana’s Carl Ince to complete a Squash Coaching Course in the UK and become the highest qualified Squash coach in the Caribbean region at the time.
• The Association has also provided humanitarian assistance including monetary donations to The Michelle Smith Appeal (a brave young Guyanese girl who sadly lost her life to cancer but inspired us all with her determination and vibrant spirit); medical and material donations during the Guyana floods in 2005 and monetary donations to the Kids’ First organisation in their efforts to take heart patients to India for life saving surgery.