Tue | Jun 27, 2017

Beeston Spring best of the BEST

Published:Saturday | August 28, 2010 | 8:00 AM
Lady Patricia Allen (fourth left) joins residents of the Beeston Spring community in Westmoreland after they copped the top prize in the National Best Community Competition and Programme at an award ceremony at the Stella Maris Pastoral Centre, St Andrew, on Thursday. - JIS

SEVERAL RESIDENTS OF Beeston Spring community in Westmoreland exuded much delight Thursday, after they were awarded first place in the National Better Environments for Social Transformation (BEST) Community Competition for 2010.

The community has received more than $2 million in cash and prizes geared at further developing the community.

Astil Gage, president of the Beeston Spring Community Development Committee, disclosed that he was elated about the rural neighbourhood's performance and hopes that it will serve as a catalyst to encourage other communities to do well.

Community tourism

"We try to work together in motivating the citizens, as our main focus is on community tourism. Through our hard work, Sandals Negril is currently organising a pilot project where tourists will come in and tour our community on a weekly basis.

"The hotel will also be providing 600 volunteers to help us in further improving our beautification project and also in painting three basic schools, post office and church," Gage said.

Jamaica National, in partnership with HEART Trust, has also sponsored a home economics programme for community members, training persons in food preparation and housekeeping.

Residents of Beeston Spring have undertaken projects geared at improving both the physical and social aspects of their community. Currently, the district is without tap water and residents have been working assiduously to develop a nearby spring that can serve as an area for washing and bathing.

They are also encouraging farmers within the community to practise organic farming as a means of ridding the area of pesticides and insects.

"We want to have a good environmental programme within our community that will cause persons to desist from burning plastic and other non-biodegradable materials and work towards being more environmentally friendly," Gage said.

The National Best Community Competition was held for the first time in 2007, when more than $15 million in prizes was awarded to several communities across Jamaica.

The competition aims to foster local governance, community self-reliance and self-help, improved values and attitudes and the establishment of partnerships to encourage the creating and development of sustainable communities.

- Philando Neil