Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Scotia Volunteers ready to assist Shaggy

Published:Monday | December 28, 2015 | 12:00 AM
The planning for Shaggy and Friends is in full force. The main players met at Jamaica House for a site visit recently. Here, discussion takes place with sponsor Scotiabank’s Simone Walker (left) and organisers (from second left) Sharon Burke, Jacqui Tyson and Rebecca Packer Burrell.

The popular Shaggy and Friends event is scheduled for Sunday, January 2 on the lawns of Jamaica House.

Among the many persons who will be in the background making sure things run smoothly will be a contingent from the Scotia Volunteers group. Joylene Griffiths Irving, executive director at the ScotiaFoundation, said the volunteer programme came about in 2003.

"We work on any project that the bank is involved in that requires volunteer support or helps us to give back to the community," she said. "We do things like Teachers' Day, Reading Day, where we are substitute teachers in the schools." There are over 1,000 volunteers islandwide. Griffiths Irving said Shaggy and Friends organisers had approached Scotiabank to make a contribution in the first year the show was held. The bank gave a cash donation, but also made the suggestion that the volunteers could help on the ground.

"It has gone well so far. We have done various things, like managing the gate receipts. We are the hostesses on the shuttle buses, and we have managed parking before. We also assist with the VIP section," she said. "We have also done some assistance backstage before." She said there are usually between 150 and 200 volunteers for the show. Once you are a member of staff, you can be a volunteer. Membership is also extended to children of staff as well as Scotia scholars and family members. Griffiths Irving noted how Shaggy and Friends really resonates with the public.

"When you are doing something for children, almost everybody can connect with that," she said. "You know the situation with our health sector. There is always the need for help. And people enjoy a good show and the time of year that it's held too. It's a time when family and friends are here." She said plans from their end were well underway, including the selection of volunteers, as they attempt to ensure everything flows on the night.

"We also assist a lot in some of the pre-publicity, in terms of telling persons that once they buy their tickets, don't open them, or to leave their firearms at home," she said. "We assist where possible in helping to get the word out so that patrons can have a smooth experience."