Once upon a time .....
Godwin DeBattista, better known as Goddo, is an award-winning dad and grandad, born and raised on the Island of Malta where he grew up in the village of H’ Attard.
Upon leaving school at 15, he started working at Mirabelle Snack Bar, a family business based in the popular resort of Bugibba, where he spent up to 70 hours per week working in a very hot kitchen as head chef. It was during this period in his life that he fell in love with the idea of helping those in need. His thinking was that there is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.
Godwin married his soulmate Colette nee’ Bowley, a british lady from Nottingham, and they had 2 beautiful daughters Charlotte and Sophie.
As a break from kitchen duties, he used to volunteer at his children’s school, not only as support teacher actually reading stories to kids creatively but also fully organising the annual sports day by setting up a village style event which was incredibly popular.
His daughters were very creative and very much into the arts, hence in 2001 a group of talented kids got together in his living room, which was converted into a makeshift studio, and the start of an incredible 6 year journey had begun. Under the direction of choreographers Belinda Borg, and later Kristina Schranz, the group were officially launched and called The Young Talent Team. It was here that Godwin got involved and started fully managing the team taking them to the best entertainment shows appearing on national TV and performing at Malta's biggest live shows, including for Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth. They also performed internationally in Norway (Junior Eurovision) and Tunisia.
As part of his ‘managing young people’ strategy, Godwin started to mentor the now very popular youngsters, coaching them on how they could make a difference to other people’s lives through kindness, friendship and compassion.
On the 14th October Godwin lost his dad to bowel cancer. A tragic moment for all the family. Joseph Debattista was the perfect gentleman and a big inspiration to all the siblings and grandchildren, but also very tragic for Godwin himself , and he had regrets. Being very busy working and using his spare time helping others, he did not have much quality time with his role model, and now he was gone, too late to make up for lost time. But something positive came through from this experience. A chance encounter that stuck in his heart, when he came across a 10 year old child who was also recovering from a major cancer operation while his dad was hospitalized, and she was happily chatting away to her parents despite all the medical items attached to her. This moment has stayed in his heart ever since.using his
And It was here that he organised 2 massive Heart Of Gold Music Festivals in 2005 and 2006 with The Young Talent Team leading some of Malta’s biggest talent stage. The festivals raised awareness and funds for people with disability.
Godwin once again organised a huge event, this time for climate change awareness, which was Malta’s version of the 777 global event where The Young Talent Team were on the bill alongside global music superstars with a live TV link around the globe. The set up of a ‘Green Village’ and the attendance of 50,000 people over the 3 days, made it a memorable event on the Island.
Of course all good things come to an end and just before The Young Talent Team days were over, Godwin teamed up with ‘Sedqa’ Government child support agency and organised the recording of an original song ‘Bikja Ohra 179’ (Another Cry 179). This number is a phone line for children who are in times of difficulty or crisis. It was this song which The Young Talent Team sang for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in Malta.
Soon Godwin and his family moved to the United Kingdom and settled in the pretty town of Bedford. Working for the Ocado Group he volunteered to be a team member at the annual children’s day organised by the company foundation, and this seemed to get his charitable heart ticking again. Soon he participated in a few events for the homeless. The bug was back.
When the Covid-19 pandemic struck across the globe, news reports stated that charities were struggling to raise funds. It was this moment that Godwin took the initiative and set up 'Team Goddo' with the intention to make a difference. He has been organising and successfully completing several big walks ever since, even traveling to his birth nation of Malta for one event. The idea behind Team Goddo is to be kind, friendly, compassionate with a passion to help others. The team has the important support from family, friends and several kind souls who support his initiatives. His charm has also caught the attention of various Celebrities and VIPs who have shown their support in several ways.
On the 15th March Godwin welcomed his first grandchild, a beautiful boy named Ethan. Will he take up Nannu Goddo's legacy of Kindness, Friendship and Compassion whilst helping others? We shall have to wait and see .........
Godwin’s efforts were recognized with 2 prestigious Awards, Bedford Everyday Hero Award in April and AKO Outstanding Achievement Award in June.
Driven by the passion to help.....
He is always taking on new challenges and the next one is running a marathon for the very first time. He can run 10 miles comfortably, but finding another 16 is a challenge. But Godwin has his say about this: “A child going through 2 years or more of cancer treatment!! Now that is a challenge!! I will crawl over the finish line if I have to”.