Goan Welfare Society: Our Work

Bereavement & Repatriations:

GWS has been arranging repatriations of deceased Goans back to their motherland at the request of their families, for a few years now. We have a “fixed fee” agreement with Southall Funeral Services (70 Western Rd, Southall UB2 5DZ. Tel: 020 8571 0621).  This firm of Funeral Directors will provide the full service to ensure the safe repatriation of the body to India after they have been blessed by the Goan Chaplain or local priest. For further information, please contact: Flavio Gracias, the Chair of Trustees on Tel: 020 8723 1322 or Mobile: 07753 309781.

Where families cannot afford the cost, we step in and initiate a fund-raising campaign or provide financial support from our own funds. Our last repatriation to Navelim, Salcete, was of Filipina Lobo, who passed away in Hayes, Middlesex. Her repatriation was effected by Southall Funeral Services on 15 September 2019.  Repatriations has been suspended following the “lock-downs” in the UK and India as a result of the Covid19 pandemic.  Regrettably, over April & May 2020,  we know of at least 15 Goans who have passed away as a result of the dreadful Coronavirus and we have assisted many of the bereaved families with the funeral arrangements. We are most grateful to Peter Terry at Southall Funderal Service for his considerable help and tremendous support with the burials & cremations.

In March 2019, we arranged the funeral of Claudette Bird nee D’Souza (the first cousin of Fr Corlis Gonsalves from Mumbai) who passed away in Kingsbury and we are grateful to G Saville & Son, a firm of Funeral Directors from Wembley for their help.

Repatriation Flights To India

  • Repatriation of Alisha Pereira
  • Repatriation of Filipina Lobo
  • Repatriation of Godwin Rodrigues
  • Repatriation of Jeronimo Sapeco
  • Repatriation of Honorato Cardoso
  • Repatriation of Gregorio Rodrigues
  • Repatriation of Linda Fernandes
  • Repatriation of Danil Mascarenhas
  • Funeral of Steven of Dias
  • Funeral of Hermenegildo Fernandes
  • Franciso Quadros Appeal
  • Felizardo Da Cunha Appeal

Employment Issues:

We assist members of the community who need advice on Tribunal Appeals and Contacting Employers regarding employee rights. However, it would be useful if we can have access to advice from Goan professionals who specialise in Employment Law.

Reducing Heart Disease & Other Health Problems:

GWS takes the health of the Community very seriously:

  • We have encouraged the over 45s to visit their GPs for health checks.
  • We have employed Nurses to run sessions at G.O.A. functions providing free BP checks and advice on healthy eating.
  • We liaise with health care professionals to deal with medical issues relating to members of our community.
  • We have repatriated members of the community back to Goa for medical treatment.

Preventing homelessness & Family issues:

When sudden and short-term events threaten to make a family homeless, GWS steps in to provide limited financial help for necessities until the situation is resolved.  We also assist with moving house or temporary storage and providing emergency financial support. It would be useful if we could call upon volunteers who are fluent in English and Konkani to help as interpreters.

In conjunction with the Goan Chaplaincy, we try to resolve family conflicts and sadly, in recent months, we have seen an increasing trend in this area.

Controlling Diabetes:

In conjunction with the G.O.A. (UK), free diabetic checks have been available at the Goan Festivals. In view of the large number of diabetics within the community, we have been encouraging all to reduce sugar intake by avoiding the serving of pre-sweetened beverages at various social gatherings and by reducing the consumption of Goan sweetmeats.

Diabetics have also been encouraged to have regular checks at their local Diabetic Clinics to ensure that the medication they are taking is controlling their diabetes.

GWS has made free glucometers available to diabetics and give advice on diets.

Dealing with Dementia:

GWS has provided advice with Care Packages and dealing with Social Services. Where necessary we arrange for visits to members of the Community who are in Care Homes. We would like more volunteers, especially medical professionals to come forward and help in an advisory capacity to help families with relatives who are suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.  On request, we are happy to visit patients in Nursing or Care Homes.