As I sit writing this newsletter, I can hardly believe it is mid-May, the wind howling and rain hitting the window is weather more reminiscent of November!  A quote that was shared with me yesterday perfectly sums up my feelings today.

“The person who dances with you in the rain, will most likely walk with you in the storm” Vivian Greene

Here at GAGA UK, we are so honoured to have loyal donors and supporters like you who dance with us in the rain and walk with us in the storm.  It is thanks to your continued support that I am delighted to tell you that at the recent AGM I was able to confirm to our Board of Trustees that despite the pandemic impact our income for the year ending April 2021 was only 5% down on the previous year.  This means that, unlike so many small charities in 2020, we were able to meet all our project commitments and provide our beneficiaries with life enhancing education and life saving healthcare, as well as offering additional support to cope with the demands of Covid-19.  THANK YOU!

Fundraising activity

In late March we held a virtual party!  A Springtime Party night which was hosted by a local radio and event DJ and featured a local magician. 

Here I am throwing myself into the opening icebreaker challenge of finding an object within reach to be a hat, moustache and scarf!!! We ran the event along the theme of £5 can… to show how a relatively small amount of money here can make a big difference in rural African communities. 

£5 also featured in our Fish Friday social media campaign, asking people to text GAGAFISH to 70450 to give £5 (texts cost £5 plus standard message rate).  This campaign continues to run with the aim of  raising additional funds for KYGN in Tanzania who must restock the tilapia ponds, that provide an income to support the school, following the flooding when all the fish swam away!

 I also asked our local business networking group to consider signing up for £5 a month to sponsor a class at KYGN – just 25 people giving £5 a month for a year can ensure that a class has school-books, materials, a daily lunch and pays the teacher’s salary.  I am delighted to say that we are only 7 contributors short of our target and additionally are in discussion with a new corporate sponsor … to be announced shortly!

Please don’t forget that you can raise extra funds for GAGA UK AT NO COST TO YOURSELF! Simply click below to sign up to a charity linked online shopping portal, we are registered with Give as You Live, Easyfundraising and Amazon Smile or pop to Raise £'s as you shop online where you’ll find links to all of the online shopping portals. All the pennies really do add up, so please don’t think your contribution won’t make a difference!

The Remembering Tree Project

After a longer than usual period we remove the final tree panels in Stratford upon Avon in April! 

Thanks to all the contributors who patiently awaited the delivery of their baubles and / or stars and to the many people who have found out about the work of GAGA UK and signed up as new subscribers to our newsletter because of the project.  We are delighted that the project once again reached the target figure as this is an important element of our annual fundraising activity, allowing us to continue to support the healthcare and education projects in South Africa.


We have also been delighted to receive more knitted and crochet squares, lots of beanie hats and some gorgeous handmade dolls and knitted toys from our prolific crafters!  Thank you all for your talented and lovingly made donations.


Governance and Administration

We held our Annual General Meeting in May, at which I presented the draft accounts and directors report to the Board of Trustees.  The accounts will be sent for independent examination and then submitted to the Charity Commission.  In the next few weeks, I will  be compiling our annual impact report which will be sent out to you.  The Board positions of Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Secretary were reappointed with no changes at the AGM.  With regret, the Board also accepted the resignation of Trustee Ann Smith. 

As one of the founding members of GAGA UK (camera shy) Ann has been a driving force behind the success of the charity and has a wealth of knowledge and experience which she has drawn on to guide the decision making of the Board.  Luckily, Ann will remain involved and continue as an Ambassador for GAGA as she continues her busy life in the Warwickshire community.  I personally owe Ann an enormous debt of gratitude for her support and guidance since I commenced my role with GAGA UK and many of you, our supporters will also know how much GAGA UK owes to Ann and her energy and commitment.

Project Updates will follow in the annual impact report, we are keeping in close contact with the projects even though monitoring visits are still off the cards for some months to come.


Just a reminder that we’ve moved out of our offices, so if you like to get in touch by post, please use this address:  PO BOX  6751, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 1UQ

Please don’t forget you can change your communication preferences at any time, either by emailing us on [email protected], going on to the website or clicking the link at the foot of any email you receive from us. If you don’t already, please follow us on one or all of your preferred social media platforms, we’re on FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Stay safe and thank you for all your support!