Youth, parents and other Caymanians, including a number of local Watlers participated in a happy, fascinating and enlightening event to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Cayman Connection UK, at the South Sound Community Centre on Wednesday, 18 July 2018.
Aspiring students in the UK networked and learnt about how to prepare for and then navigate the UK scene when they take up residence there for further education.
Organised by the communications in-charge for the Cayman Islands Government Office in London, (CIGO UK) Ms Kate Kandiah, the event also featured an ongoing project of CIGO UK about reaching out to family of the earliest settlers of the Cayman Islands, the Watlers and Boddens.
Present on the occasion to meet and greet local family members were a visiting family from the US, now known as Walters but have undergone ancestral research to confirm they are related to the original Watlers of the Cayman Islands.
Thirty students and parents gathered to take part in a workshop in the afternoon, specifically addressing some of the cultural differences between the UK and the Cayman Islands and to address some of the challenges that can be a faced when moving abroad. Ms Kandiah spoke to the group with CCUK volunteers to share experiences and answer questions. Volunteers who were already students in the UK were also able to encourage new students with stories and examples of the benefits of studying in the UK.
Ms Kandiah said of the event “These annual events in Cayman are integral to the work of CCUK, it is a great opportunity to provide a space for students considering studying in the UK to meet existing UK students. The event is also an opportunity to share some of the work that the CIGO has been doing in the UK” She went on to say “It was a special honour to be able to host an event for the visiting Walters family who have been tracing their roots back to Cayman for many years”
The Annual CCUK reception is also a chance to introduce the new Lead Student Ambassador, who takes on the main responsibility of leading the Student Volunteers who run the network. The incoming Lead Student Ambassador is David Ramseran, who has been volunteering with the network for two years. Mr Ramseran commented “I am proud to take on the role of Lead Student Ambassador foe he CCUK this academic year, we have some great development plans for the network that I am looking forward to progress, for example a new website, better communication channels for members across the U.K and new cultural programmes and partnerships. We’re already planning for the annual reception next year as we have new ideas following feed back from this event.”