Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Enfield, St Mary, gets facelift

Published:Saturday | August 16, 2014 | 8:00 AM
From left: St Mary's acting manager for health, Linda Sutherland-Hines, hands over donations to Enfield Health Centre's public health nurse Janice James. - Photo by Orantes Moore
From left, Enfield's Community Development Committee chairman Samuel Roberts hands over donations on behalf of the FoEC to St Mary's acting manager for health, Linda Sutherland-Hines. - Photo by Orantes Moore
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Orantes Moore, Gleaner Writer

Earlier this month, the Friends of Enfield Communities (FoEC), a charitable community group based in Enfield, St Mary, hosted a weeklong series of fundraising events to help refurbish the local health centre.

The events, which were coordinated in conjunction with Enfield's Community Development Committee (ECDC), comprised an Independence Day celebration, a gospel concert, and a handover ceremony, where gifts and donations for the centre were formally presented to the parish's health officials.

The donations included $50,000 worth of new fans and bathroom facilities, and according to the group's vice-president, Granville Williams, new lamp and a sink. A barrel full of medical equipment is scheduled to arrive later this month.

During the ceremony, the acting manager for St Mary health department and matron at the Port Maria Hospital, Linda Sutherland-Hines, officially accepted the donations and passed them on to the centre's public health nurse, Janice James.

James told Rural Xpress: "The FoEC's donations are important to the people of Enfield because they are needed. In terms of service delivery, fans in the waiting areas and offices and repairs to customer bathrooms will really help make the services we offer much better."

Sutherland-Hines said: "Ad-vocacy is important, and on behalf of the North East Regional Health Authority, I would like to thank the FoEC because the work they have done means we can spend funds elsewhere.

"Their work is important because patient comfort means a lot to us. We don't have the capacity to do all the things we would like to for our patients. But we have the skills and intention, so when community people come in and assist us, we are greatly appreciative."

The FoEC was formed in 2009 in response to a drastic increase in the number of murders in Enfield that year. It comprises an eclectic group of eight local and returning residents who deliver community development services as part of their annual homecoming reunion project.

This year, members concentrated their energies towards generating funds to refurbish the health centre, and according to local resident Yvonne Martin, the results have been outstanding.

She said: "We needed these things but didn't have anything to buy them. These folks sponsored us and we are so grateful. They are really bringing us into the light.

"We thank God for each and every one of them and what they have done. It's a great symbol because most of these people left the community, but they came back and remembered us, so we are very blessed."

Provide quality service

ECDC chairman Samuel Roberts echoed Martin's comments. "I really appreciate what has been accomplished so far. Good health is necessary to preserve life, and these contributions will serve and help to maintain life in the community," he added.

Chief medical officer for health in the parish, Dr San San Win, believes the FoEC's contributions will greatly improve the quality of service the centre is able to deliver.

She explained: "The building here is in a terrible condition and the water supply in this area is poor. We have been trying to reach the required standard of care for a long time, but we are providing just the minimum.

"These gifts mean that we are reaching somewhere closer to the level of health care we should be providing, and the people who come here will be more comfortable."

rural@gleanerjm.com