Our Mission

Generating growth for African children and communities devastated by HIV-AIDS and poverty, through the goodwill of people in the UK and elsewhere

News

August 2019

NCS Challenge Completed!

NCS Challenge Completed!

In July GAGA UK acted as a Community Partner to a National Citizen Service (NCS) wave.  We were assigned to Team Emeke and met up at Warwickshire College to give them an overview of GAGA UK and the projects we support in Southern Africa.  The team were made up of students who had just completed their GCSE's and were highly engaged in the NCS Community Challenge Experience!  They had lots of questions about the projects and after the initial familiarisation visit they were fired up to participate in fundraising and awareness activities on our behalf.  At the second visit I was able to see their preparations for their "pitch" to the NCS team for resources and approval for their awareness and fundraising plans.  They had prepared a presentation, posters, risk assessments and ensured that each team member played a part in the presentation.

On the challenge day, we met in Cubbington, ready to complete the 11km Cubbington & Offchurch Circular Walk.  The purpose of the walk was to give the students an insight into the kind of distance many students their age and younger live from their secondary school or a health care clinic.  Team Emeke had started to get sponsorship for completing this walk and were enthusiastic participants.  Helped along by some music from one of the team and encouraged by the additional team member (Teddy, the GAGA Office Dog!) the walk was completed across fields and tracks, in sunshine and showers to a triumphant end back in Cubbington!

The following day they manned a stand in Leamington Spa, telling members of the public about GAGA UK and handing out leaflets to raise awareness and encourage people to follow GAGA UK on social media.  The final sponsorship figure will be revealed in September but we are confident it will be an amount that will truely #makeadifference - Thank you Team Emeke #SAYYES to #NCS

 

July 2019

Brave the Shave

Brave the Shave

Mike has raised over £2,000 for GAGA project 1000 Hills Community Helpers through a crowdfunding page, encouraging his friends to contribute in exchange for him loosing every hair from his head!  with friends like that...... who needs enemies!

GAGA Welcomes Richard

GAGA Welcomes Richard

The Board of GAGA are pleased to annouce the appointment of a new trustee, Richard Lucas.

Richard is a management consultant specialising in organisational development and business transformation. He has over 30 years experience in industry and consulting, starting his career in Human Resources in the car industry, moving on to leadership roles in consulting with firms including PwC and Sia Partners.

He now works independently for clients mainly in the Energy sector.  Richard worked extensively on a volunteer basis with the leadership team of one of the Prince’s charities, Youth Business International, helping them to develop from a small team, to launching as an independent charity and onwards to a team of over 30 at the centre of a network of youth entrepreneurship programmes across the world.

Richard has recently joined the Board of GAGA as a Trustee and is fully committed to our belief in creating sustainable futures for all children. Beside contributing fully to GAGA in the trustee role, his particular focus will be to help us develop our proposal to Corporate donors and to bring to us his experience and insight in organisational development.

Stratford River Festival July 2019

Stratford River Festival July 2019

GAGA takes a stand at the Stratford River Festival 2019

The first weekend of July sees the popular River Festival taking place in our home town of Stratford upon Avon.  In order to maintain GAGA's profile in the town and to provide an opportunity for people to purchase the beautiful beadwork and other items we bring back from South Africa, we have taken a pitch for the last few years.  We raised nearly £500 for our funds at the festival this year, and as a result have nearly SOLD OUT of beaded animals!

We also wanted to ensure that the residents of Stratford and visitors to the River Festival learned about our Remembering Tree yarnbombing activities.  So this year we transported our display tree and it made a wonderfully woolly focal point and conversation starter for us!

A big THANK YOU to all the people who stopped by the stand and helped to #makeadifference

 

June 2019

Leamington Peace Festival

Leamington Peace Festival

Well I am sorry to say the weather was not particularily kind to us for the Leamington Peace Festival this weekend! However, the Sunday was much improved on the Saturday and in spite of the weather we had a pretty successful weekend!  Our sales of beadwork raised over £400 and we spoke to so many people about the wonderful projects that GAGA supports.

Thank you to our volunteers who braved the elements to man the stall and to all of our supporters, new and old, who took the time to chat to us and indulge in a little retail therapy!

 

 

New Trustee Appointed

New Trustee Appointed

We are delighted to announce that a new Trustee has been appointed to the Board of GAGA UK.  You might just recognise her, it is Sarah Hodgson, our previous Director.

We are delighted that Sarah is able to join the board in the position of Trustee and in so doing she brings her wealth of experience and in depth knowledge of the projects and programmes that GAGA is proud to support.

 

May 2019

Annual General Meeting and Year End Accounts

Annual General Meeting and Year End Accounts

 

I am delighted to tell you that we held our AGM on the 2nd May and all of the officers of the Board of Trustees were reappointed for the 2019/20 year.

In addition the financial year end for 2018/19 has been completed and the books and records have been sent to our Independent Examiner.  On receipt of the report of the Independent Examiner you will be able to see the full trustee report and accounts on the Charity Commission website and we will also publish a summary here, with a link to the full report.

 

January 2019

GAGA welcomes Claire!

GAGA welcomes Claire!

Happy New Year!

As mentioned in our December newsletter, Sarah is moving on to pastures new later this month.  She goes with our very best wishes and gratitude for all she has contributed to GAGA and our wonderful projects.  We are delighted to welcome Claire as our new Director, she has been associated with GAGA for a few years, here's a little more in her own words!

Hello!

I am thrilled to be appointed as GAGA UK's new Director.  GAGA has impressed me since I first started to volunteer and fundraise for them a few years ago and I look forward to using my professional skills and voluntary experience to build on the strong foundations laid by Sarah and her predecessor Charlie.

I first set foot on African soil 50 years age (it was a small foot then!) when my family emigrated from the Isle of Wight to Zambia where my father worked as an engineer.  My first day at school was in Ndola, Zambia and my childhood memories are filled with the sights, sounds and smells of Africa.  You can read more here.

 

December 2018

Who Believes in Fairy Tales?

Who Believes in Fairy Tales?

We have a very special book for sale at GAGA...

Children from FIRST STEP RIGHT School in South Africa have written a story...

Here's a bit more about the idea behind the book from Gael at First Step Right... 
I'll give you a quick presentation on history and content.
Once a week, students can borrow a book from our library.
This playful reading activity seems to me to be important for the development of the child's imagination...
This was the beginning of our writing.
And then, the theme was chosen by the children, inspired by their reading: The Lion King, Peter Pan, Jack and the magic bean and many others....
Our tale shares the story of four heroes. The story begins in New York and continues in a magical world where it is good to believe in fairy tales to face all challenges!
The many benefits of this writing project have included: 
- allowing children to develop their language skills and imagination.
- writing by children for children and great children!
- involve young people in a charity fundraising project that concerns their school.
WHO BELIEVES IN FAIRY TALES ?
This is the title of our book, Illustrated by Elisabeth Hodgson, and very kindly printed by Doreen Hodgson.

We currently have just 5 copies available for you to buy. They're £8 each plus £1.50 for postage. (UK only at this time).

If you'd like to buy one, please drop Sarah an email on sarah@gaga-uk.org and we can sort out payment (via bank transfer or cheque). 
It will be first come, first served, but if we see there's a big demand then we can get more printed and raise even more funds for First Step Right.

Each book sale could help a child attend First Step Right for a week.

Thanks for your support.

Christmas Fundraising 2018

Christmas Fundraising 2018

Huge thanks to everyone involved in our end of year fundraising...

Our Christmas Quiz Night raised just over £600. 
Beadwork sales have raised over £400. 
The Simon Kemp Rhythm and Blues Night raised just pence short of £700. 
The Remembering Tree has raised over £2,500.

To everyone who helped to arrange these events, attended, volunteered, donated etc .... we are so grateful for your support.

Thank you.

November 2018

The Remembering Tree is back!

The Remembering Tree is back!

The Remembering Tree has returned to Stratford upon Avon.

Remember or celebrate a loved one today. Simply click here.

PLEASE SELECT 'CHARITY MARKETING ALLOWED', OR CONTACT US ONCE YOU HAVE MADE YOUR DONATION, OTHERWISE WE CANNOT SEE YOUR DETAILS ON VIRGIN MONEY GIVING

All celebrated names will go on a board next to the tree and in the Midweek paper before Christmas. You'll also receive a card showing your dedication.

Take time to reflect and remember this Christmas, whilst also making a difference to those affected by disease and poverty in Africa.

If you have donated recently, and haven't received your dedication card, please give us a call on 01789 414088. It may be that we don't have the correct details for you.

Christmas Quiz Night

Christmas Quiz Night

The Quiz Night is fast approaching!!

 

We hope you can join us on Friday 30th at the Crowne Plaza in Stratford upon Avon.
There'll be wine (and honour!), for the winning team.
Entry is £5 per person with mince pies and nibbles on the night.

 

We've got some fab raffle prizes lined up including a night at a hotel, photoshoots and tickets for the Stratford Butterfly Farm.

 

 

 

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

Click here to register your team!

Simon Kemp's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra

Simon Kemp's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra

We're so excited to see the return of Simon Kemp's music to Bidford.

This year, after the success of last year's Gospel Music Night, Simon Kemp and his 14 piece Rhythm and Blues Orchestra will be playing the best in blues, soul, boogie-woogie and feel-good music.

Come and join us for an evening filled with music, laughter and a sprinkle of Christmas cheer. We'll have wine and mince pies available, and there'll be some fab raffle prizes up for grabs.

Simply call us on 01789 414088 to reserve some tickets, or do it online here (and pay on the door).

We can't wait to see you there!

The Remembering Tree 2018

The Remembering Tree 2018

The Remembering Tree will be returning to Stratford upon Avon this winter.

The Remembering Tree will be made up of lots of crocheted and knitted squares. Some of the squares are produced in South Africa by women from poor communities to help boost their income and gain new skills. The others come from local community groups and individuals (huge thanks to all those who generously donate squares, wool and time!).

We will be yarn bombing on 18th November and can't wait to share some photos with you.

Celebrate or Remember a loved one today. Simply click here to donate (Please make sure you select 'Charity Marketing Allowed' when prompted, otherwise we won't be able to send you a dedication card).

The Remembering Tree and our Woollen Winter Wonderland are a sight to behold, and we hope you enjoy them this Christmas.

Mirna's Story

Mirna's Story

A tribute to Mirna...

Every person has a right to quality end of life care.

So many people lose loved ones to soon.

Sadly, the number of patients admitted to the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust Respite Unit who are co-infected with HIV and terminal cancer continues to increase on a monthly basis.

There is an ongoing oncology crisis in KZN, South Africa and HACT's Nursing Services Manager, Julie Hornby shares the story of one of their recent patients...

"Mirna’s son brought her in and he too was a gentle soul who very obviously loved his mother very much. He stayed by her side and visited every day, the bond between mother and son was very obvious. We quickly managed to get her pain under control and her tender nature came to the fore, she never complained and always smiled when seeing anyone... "

Read more here.

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