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Derek Sealy Leaving St Werburghs

Posted by St Werburghs - 20/07/16 01:35PM - 2 Comments - news

At the end of June everyone at St Werburghs Community Centre said a sad and fond farewell to Derek Sealy. Derek left as one of the members of St Werburghs Community Centre's Management Committee. 

Derek Sealy was one of the longest standing members of the St Werburghs Community Centre's Management Committee. He received an award from Voscur in 2013 for Longest Serving Volunteer – having served the board since 1972. Derek has been an active and prominent member of the local community for decades. Over the many years he has lived in St Werburghs he has supported the Black and West Indian communities of Bristol. Originally from Barbados he and his wife worked tirelessly with the Barbados & Caribbean Friends Association to support families who had moved to the UK from the Islands. Derek has done so much for the city and yet remains humble about his achievements, always willing to share the kudos with those around him. Throughout the 80s and 90s Derek and his wife supported families, children and young people who found it hard settling in the UK, this was especially the case for children starting in schools that didn’t know how to cope with pupils from different cultures.  These black youngsters’ behaviour was often tarred with a brush as 'challenging' or ‘disruptive’ but the Barbados Family & Friends Association didn't want to give up on them. They worked to support children and youngsters by providing services like homework clubs and cultural educational support for schools and staff. These were the beginnings of cultural exchanges where black families would bring in wonderful food for the pupils to taste and would tell stories about the life back home in the Islands. The Association also campaigned strongly to bring more opportunities for young people leaving school to find jobs through organising an annual jobs fair linking businesses and colleges.

I have met many people who are active in their communities and Derek comes across with immense grace and humility. As reliable as the tide he continues to volunteer his time as a trustee of the St Werburghs Community Centre with dedication and enthusiasm. Now at the age of 86 he has decided to retire. Derek we will miss your wealth of knowledge and your dedication, we thank you for your efforts and many years serving our community and making the City of Bristol a better place for us all.



10/08/18 02:08AM

sebastine edmund

10/08/18 02:07AM

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