Following the recent passing of Dr John Roberts and the death of Mrs Connie Mark BEM MBE in 2007, only Lord Paul Boateng, Descendants very first patron, remains.
We are delighted to inform you that the Management Committee have selected 3 new members of the community to join him as Patrons of Descendants.
The committee have elected:
Sister Monica Tywang
A nun who works tirelessly in the community. She was instrumental in bringing about awareness of Mary Seacole and the Mary Seacole statue for over 50 years. She also plays an active role in the Notting Hill Carnival, organising an annual pre-carnival mass and organising a carnival procession group for children.
Sister Monica Tywang is a Sister of the Daughters of Wisdom, who has devoted her life to serve others selflessly. Her many roles in the UK include being a nurse at La Sagesse Hospital, Blackpool and in Romney during the 1960s and 1970s.
For many years she has been engaged in pastoral work, particularly with people of Caribbean origin. Her major focus has always been with the poor, the elderly, the marginalized in areas of urban deprivation. Her work includes home visitations; assisting the unemployed to secure employment, for example, by assisting them in completing application forms, approaching Companies with them; attending Court with families where necessary; supporting families in organising baptisms, weddings, funerals, anniversaries, house Masses; assisting community groups in locating and securing resources; acting as a point of referral/liaison person between statutory bodies/agencies and many people of Caribbean origin; liaising with groups such as the Paddington Christian Council Hostel to assist the homeless in the 1980s; advising individuals and families on a variety of issues; acting as a mentor to young people of Caribbean origin.
Her involvement with the community has been wide-ranging and include:
- Honorary member of the Trinidad and Tobago Association, UK since the 1970s
- Vice-Chair of the Steel Band Association of Britain during the 1970s and 1980s
- Executive Member of the Notting Hill Council of Churches – building bridges between the police and members of the local community in the 1970s and 1980s
- Member of the Inner London Education Authority’s Consultative Committee on Black and Minority Ethnic Communities in the 1970s and 1980s
- Member of ‘Harmony’ – a supportive group for families of ‘mixed-race’ children in the 1970s and 1980s
- Member of the Consultative Group for RC Diocesan Social Welfare from 1978 to 1980
- Officer on the North Kensington Family Centre with responsibility to liaise with the community. She was involved in the day to day running of the centre, meeting outside bodies and so on – 1978- 1987
- Since 1979 she has been a key contributor to the development of Children’s Carnival in Notting Hill Carnival and has played a major role in bringing out a Children’s Band from St Mary’s RC School for many years
- Since the 1970s she has maintained the Catholic Church’s involvement in Notting Hill Carnival, for example, by organising a Carnival Mass at St Mary of the Angel’s RC Church, followed by a celebration in the Piazza outside the Church
- From 1980 to 1983 she was a member of the Executive member of the organising Committee for Notting Hill Carnival
- From 1982 to 1997 she was Vice-Chair of the Notting Hill Carnival Liaison Group
- During the 1980s she was a member of the Local Authority Sub-Committee on Community Relations
- During that period she was also one of the organisers of The Avenue Youth Club
- Since the 1980s she has been a member of North Westminster Victim Support Scheme
- Since the 1980s she has been a member of the Police Community Consultative Committee – established after Lord Scarman’s Report
- Since 1981 she has been a member of Friends of Mary Seacole. This organisation organises an annual Memorial Service in London to mark her life and her contribution to society
Lennox K. Thomas
- The first person of Caribbean descent to become a senior Probation officer’
- A past member and Chair of Descendants’ management Committee
- A parent
- A community activist
- An inspirational Speaker
- A published author
Lennox K. Thomas MA, CQSW, BPC, AFT, UKCP (Fellow). trained in child development, clinical social work, child and family psychotherapy and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. He was Clinical Director of Nafsiyat Intercultural Therapy Centre, and Co- Director of the University College (London) MSc in Intercultural Psychotherapy. He is a co-founder and Consultant Psychotherapist at the Refugee Therapy Centre. Influenced by his work with children and parents in hospitals and probation, he has an interest in attachment, and transgenerational family trauma.
His published works include:
- “Attachment in African Caribbean Families”, Attachment Theory in Adult Mental Health, eds. A. Danquah & K. Berry, Routledge 2014. “
- Relational Psychotherapy: The significance of Father”. Psychodynamic Practice, 16, 61-75. (2010). “
- Parenting roles and the African Caribbean man in post-slavery society” eds. P. Lovejoy & B. Bowser, UNESCO, Africana World Press (2014).
His interests are gardening and, having spent the first seven years of his life in Grenada, Caribbean literature .
Camara Jessica Fearon
A singer songwriter, an activist, and an advocate for Descendants
Camara is a 20 year old multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, musician, mentor, Presenter, actress and ardent Charity worker. A Multi-Award winner, she was even honoured at our very own Dr. John Roberts CBE QC 10th Annual Achievements Awards’, receiving the inaugural STEVE McQUEEN CBE AWARD which was presented to her by the mother of the 12 Years a Slave director.
To list some of Camara’s immense achievements so far:
- At 10 years old performed at the Hackney Empire, where she was given a standing ovation.
- She has performed at Sadler’s wells Theatre with full orchestral and choir backing directed by Tim Steiner.
- Life Changers Award 2010
- Word4weapons Award 2012
- LBWF Leaders Award 2014
- Angel Foundation Award 2015
- Lead vocalist at The Royal Albert Hall accompanied by full orchestra and band.
- She was the first female/black youth to play ‘Last Call’ Trumpet solo at 11/11 Memorial service in LBWF.
- Was the first non famous person to have her song lyrics in print in the Jack Petchey Foundation diary distributed to thousands of schools.
- Camara was for 4 years, in the cast of ‘The JA Story’ a much renowned educational factual musical about Jamaica’s people and its history which was written and produced by JD Douglas who also wrote Black Heroes Hall of Fame. The production toured the UK and by the 3rd successive year on the production Camara was elevated to principle singer, actress and dancer as well as being the official vocal coach at just 16 years of age. Considering she has had no professional training it can only be put down to hard work.
- Invited to the House of Commons, where she performed one of her own penned songs called STAND UP MY PEOPLE. This event celebrated the Achievements and Contributions of Black and Ethnic minorities in LBWF.
- She was a member of London Symphony Orchestra’s Next Generation project for exceptionally talented musicians playing the trumpet and was also chosen to sing with the orchestra.
- She has performed internationally and was a guest artist for the late ‘ Dr Myles Munro on his successful Motivational tour in Ghana.
- Camara is an ambassador to eight organisations/charities including Through Unity and extending some charities in helping those in desperate need abroad.
- Winning a prestigious SPIRIT OF LONDON ‘Achievement through Music Award’ Camara has been part of the successful mentoring workshops run in schools all over London organised by SOLA.
- In March 2016 Camara won the Wise Women Award for the Most Outstanding young Christian women making a difference from within the Church and the Community
- Is a regular at City Hall as a guest speaker and performer at International Womens Day hosted by Jennette Arnold
Since the age of ten, Camara has been heavily involved in the Anti-gun and knife crime campaigning in area’s asking people to stand up against the crime, inviting gang members to believe in themselves and to give education another try.
In January 2014 Camara was given the opportunity to become and is now a columnist in an national/international monthly online newspaper called ‘The Phoenix Newspaper’, her column is called ‘Camara’s Spotlight’ where charity matters and inspirational people are given recognition for their positive achievements.
After completing her A levels in 2015 she was headhunted and immediately offered a part time job with Word4Weapons in partnership with Ascension Trust as a PA Co-ordinator overseeing Weapon Bins in London and the Midlands, also running school mentoring workshops. Camara believes that God has truly been faithful as this has allowed her to work on her music and do his work.
Lord Paul Boateng has been Descendants Patron since the organisation was established in 1993 and we are delighted to have him continue in this role.
Even though Descendants is transitioning to a new era, the contributions of Connie Mack and Dr John Roberts will never be forgotten and their legacy will continue to live on.