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Clarendon infirmary celebrates first anniversary at new resource centre

Published:Saturday | March 21, 2015 | 12:00 AMShanique Samuels
Community Relations Officer of Jamalco Natalie Irving looks at the items on display made by the residents.
Damipn Campbell, poor relief coordinator, was guest speaker at the anniversary celebrations.
Custos William Shagoury purchases craft items made by the residents from Matron Joyce Anderson.

The Clarendon Parish Council and some stakeholders in the parish happily joined in and celebrated with the residents of the Clarendon Infirmary in their first anniversary of the facility's Resource Centre. The centre has made such a big difference in the lives of the residents, so much so that these persons, aided by the staff, put on a small anniversary celebration to show their appreciation for the facility.

The residents made pillowcases, cushions, crotchet items such as hats and other bits and pieces of arts and crafts which were put on display, some of which were later sold at the event. This resource centre is a relatively large indoor space where the residents gather five days per week with an external activity director who comes in weekly to work with them and offer assistance in helping to guide and develop their crafting skills.

Poor relief coordinator, Damion Campbell, who was guest speaker at the event, encouraged the residents. "Old age is not a disease; it is strength and survivorship, triumph over all challenges, disappointments and trials. All of you here should not think of old age as something bad, but something that is good because it says that you have been through a lot and still survive. It speaks to the blessings upon your lives," he told them.

An interesting fact he shared was that the Clarendon Infirmary is the largest government-run facility of this kind outside of the Golden Age Home in Kingston. The facility currently houses 134 residents.

He said he was pleased that the infirmary, although government operated, was like a five-star hotel for the residents. "Perhaps we could call it a Five-Star Infirmary," he joked.

Campbell continued; "The programmes implemented here speak to community development; it speaks to the welfare of the citizens who are aged, it speaks to Vision 2030."

Custos of Clarendon, William Shagoury, commended the residents for "doing something that is worthwhile" as well as the staff for the great work they have been doing with the residents over the years. "I am really and truly delighted to see what is taking place here. I think this infirmary is one of the better ones in the country and I am happy to represent the people here."

The Brotherhood of St Andrew has been giving to the infirmary for over 10 years. Stanley Edwards, who was representing the Brotherhood, said they have helped to implement infrastructure such as hot water, lockers and fans to make the residents more comfortable. "We do it from our hearts because many times society look at these persons as sick people, but the staff here looks after them so well you would never know they have illnesses."

Edwards says the Brotherhood plans to continue supporting the Clarendon Infirmary.

Jamalco is another of the stakeholders who has been looking after the infirmary and its residents. Community relations officer Natalie Irving, said Jamalco has been partnering with the Clarendon Parish Council and the infirmary by volunteering their service several times per year.

"Over the years we have seen where the infirmary has grown from strength to strength, and as a company we are very proud to be a part of this initiative.'