In July 1993, the idea of establishing DESCENDANTS came from overwhelming parental response following a performance by young people of African and Caribbean descent performing together at St. Vincent’s RC School in Acton, West London. The evening made such an impact, and created such positive feedback, that the founder members of DESCENDANTS (Margaret Noel, Collette Noel, Chantal Noel, Celestina Uzoka, Lorraine Neckles, Helen Manufor and Kisha Noel) held a meeting to look into the development of a sustainable cultural group.
Following a successful meeting and further research, which demonstrated that there was a definite need for this type of group, DESCENDANTS was established in September 1993, for children of African and Caribbean descent.
When DESCENDANTS began, there was nothing like it in the area. Its ethos was based on togetherness, being a family for African and Caribbean children to come together and learn from each other. When the club began we were not sure how it would develop. We did not have any money; however, we had an enthusiastic set of parents and interested individuals. Together as a group of parents, friends and associates we planned the sessions, contributing and donating from our own pockets, we provided pens, paper and materials and, most importantly, time
Margaret Noel, Founder
In 1993, the Rt. Hon. Mr Paul Boateng M.P was approached and agreed to become our Patron. Mrs Connie Mark B.E.M M.B.E became our second Patron in 1998. Dr John Roberts Q.C formally became our 3rd Patron in June 2007. Mrs Connie Mark passed away in June 2007, but prior to her death she endorsed the appointment of Dr John Robert’s Q.C – who sadly passed in June 2016 – as our third Patron.
23 years later, DESCENDANTS has become well-known in surrounding boroughs. With a long list of highlights and achievements to their name, and countless graduates of the group paying tribute to their DESCENDANTS experiences as they move on to academic success, rewarding careers and to have families of their own, DESCENDANTS continues to build and grow, inspiring the next group of young people and, we hope, generations to come.