Establishing Community


Supporting education and learning

Supporting Educational Development

In 1968 Derby West Indian Association members donated 25 Guineas (£1,811 today) to the Sir Alex Bustamante Foundation Scholarship, a charity set up by Jamaica’s first Prime Minister to support the educational development of young people in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean Islands.

In 1976 a scholarship scheme for Windrush 2nd and 3rd generation was approved. Five scholarships were awarded to young people covering their college costs. By 1998 the scheme was in its 22nd year, and DWICA was congratulated by Community Matters, a  national body formally known as National Federation of Community Organisations. 

In 1985 DWICA led an initiative to ensure African Caribbean young people in Derby could enrol on what was commonly known as ’the foundation programme’. The programme aimed to give 12 students an income whilst they studied to A-level standard. This proved so popular amongst the local community that 24 African Caribbean and Asian students completed the ‘return to learn’ course in one year. 

During the 2000’s sports bursaries became popular and five awards were made to young people alongside two awards made to students entering higher education.  The educational bursary scheme continues to provide support young people for course books & equipment.  

In recent times DWICA has enabled its team to undertake nationally recognised vocational training courses improving the delivery of programmes including Summer School and Derby Caribbean Carnival. During the Covid-19 pandemic, members were supported to develop their digital skills so that they could keep connected to family and friends during lockdown. 

Saturday School

In 1975 four local schoolteachers talked to Derby West Indian Association (DWIA) members about their children’s educational progress. They welcomed support from DWIA to lobby for the full quota of teachers per school. The DWIA executive also started to develop plans to establish a Saturday Morning Club for young people to be held at Pear Tree House.  This was the beginnings of the DWIA Supplementary School. 

By 1978 The Saturday school was formed by Mr F Best, Mr D. Luke, Mr G Mighty, Mr Bennett, Mr Harewood Mr P Miller and Ms J Underwood in partnership with Pear Tree Community Centre and the Counselling Advisory Service. The aim was to improve children’s reading, mathematics and English. Classes were free of charge.  

In 1980 there was a restructure and rebrand of the Saturday School Project by the manager, Mr R Murray supported by DWIA as the lead organization. This ensured the school had a stable structure and an organised rota of volunteers supporting teachers. 

DWICA continues developing educational projects in response to parent and young people’s needs, including Youth Clubs, Summer School, an annual Youth conference and the Caribbean carnival troupe.