Derby West Indian Community Association is a registered Charity and has been established for over 60 years.
It is a membership organisation with particular emphasis on improving the conditions of life for the inhabitants of Derby and in particular the members of the community of West Indian heritage. Its aim is to establish and manage a community centre, working in collaboration with the local authority and other voluntary and community groups. The main activities are: education, social, cultural and recreational – annual summer school, youth conference and carnival. It is instrumental in encouraging participation and interaction among individuals and groups.
A variety of events and activities take place at the Centre, for details see:
Over the years the DWICA has been and still is involved in a number of community and educational issues. We are obliged to take up representation and advocacy roles on behalf of our members. It is important to point out that the DWICA is not ‘an ordinary run of the mill community organisation’. Some of our core community development activities involve the association in a host of ‘politically sensitive issues’ such as:
- School exclusions
- Welfare rights
- Collaborative work with grass-roots organisations
- Youth matters
- Work involving the pioneering generation
- Adults continuing and community education
The Association over the years has initiated a number of projects, specifically with young people in mind. We were fortunate to receive funding for four years from the BBC Children in Need to run an exclusion project, which supported a number of children who had been excluded or were at risk of being excluded from mainstream education. Our education Assistant worked closely with school personnel, parents, Derby City Council Referral Unit and other community based organisations. We also ran a supplementary Saturday school and, of course, we continue to run a four week summer scheme in the summer holidays and hold an annual youth conference in November, which young people help to organise and plan. The annual two-day Caribbean carnival event also attracts a large number of young people who participate in the carnival costume workshops and the carnival procession. Young people are vital for the very survival of the organisation and we want to see more young people come forward and even begin to serve on the Management Committee to help in preserving the organisation for future generations.
The mainstay of the organisation is our mature members who make sure that they always pay their membership fee on time and therefore ensure the sustainability of the organisation.
There are a number of social activities on offer for the elderly to help them to get out and about. On Mondays from 11:30am to 12:30pm, we have tai chi, which is tremendously beneficial for anyone suffering with diabetes or rheumatism as well as being extremely good for health and well being.
On Wednesday nights from 7:00pm to 11:00pm there is bowls, dominoes, a traditional Caribbean past-time, darts, board games, such as Scrabble, and we also have Nintendo Wii Fit.
The Association has computers which members can come and use at their leisure. There is a large television for sports and entertainment, located in the Main Hall. We also have a projector and big screen, where we can show films not just for the elderly members but for everyone to enjoy.