Constance Gooding – NAOMI AWARD

My name is Constance Gooding.

I was born and raised in Guyana, South America.

Am a mother of 3, and grand- mother of 3.

I trained as a Nurse/Midwife, and at the age of 30, I was awarded a World Health Organisation/ Pan American Health Organisation Scholarship, to attend the University of the West Indies, to study Nursing Education/Administration.

In 1979, my husband, 3 children and I immigrated to England. We needed a much more stable life-style. I wanted to be a stay-at home mum.

Those plans did not work out. I was back at work, this time as a Staff Nurse in an Long Stay Unit for the Elderly, at a Hospital in Reading, Berkshire.

A Team from different Churches, organised a mid- week meeting to speak with people who normally would not attend Church on Sundays.

Some of these were and women living on the streets, in squats,

eating out of waste bins. They slept in derelict buildings and shop fronts.

It was out of this work, that the Churches in Reading Drop- in- Centre for the Homeless was birthed in October 31st 1990.

I was the Centre’s first Manager.

In 1992, I spearheaded the Churches in Reading Women’s Centre. This Centre catered for women and girls who had recently been released from Psychiatric care into the Community.

In 2016, I was asked to set up a Luncheon Club for the Black Elderly. I served for 5 years.

In November 2021, I became Manager of a brand new Agency, called the Reading Golders Luncheon Club.