Curphey Home gets operational boost
The Curphey Home in Manchester, named after the late Colonel Sir Aldington Curphey, one of the founders of the Jamaica Legion, has been in operation since 1957, caring for the needs of veterans in Jamaica, under the Jamaica Legion Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League (RCEL). The home, which currently cares for 19 of the nation’s ex-servicemen and women, recently received $850,000 from the NCB Foundation. With the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, the donation could not have come at a better time.
“When the link came out, I actually sent it to everyone I possibly could, and did some campaigning of my own in hopes that we would win,” said Lt Colonel Sewell, elected chairman of the Island Council of the Jamaica Legion RCEL. “This donation has come at the most well-needed time, especially in terms of the pandemic which has just caused such havoc in Jamaica! As you know, a lot of persons are out of jobs, strapped for money, and are unfortunately not able to donate to the home as they normally would. The year 2020 has been a very rough year for many of us, so this donation will go a far, far way!”
Over the years, the Curphey Home has been a haven for Jamaica’s war veterans, providing care, support and protection. Among the residents ranging from 58 to 99 years of age are persons who served in World War II, as well as former members of the West Indian Regiment and the Jamaica Defence Force. The home is mainly run by a volunteer team and is funded through donations via the National Poppy Appeal, contributions from JDF members and the general public and a government subvention.
“The veterans have served their country well and deserve to be returned the same care, assistance and support,” Lt Colonel Sewell noted. It is this loyalty and dedication to those who, often times, are unable to help themselves, that makes the staff and volunteers of the Curphey Home so deserving of this financial blessing.
COVID-19 has presented numerous challenges for them with regards to the work they do, in particular, regarding the safety of the residents who are all part of the vulnerable group. “We started the year with 24 residents and are now at 18. Although they made their transition via natural means, COVID-19 has definitely presented significant challenges as we have had to go the extra mile to make sure the residents and staff are kept safe. I must say the Local Management Committee, [management] and staff have collectively done a superb job to date, with the limited resources that we have, as well as the limitations placed on the regular everyday happenings at the home,” said Lt Colonel Sewell. COVID-19 has caused much upheaval, but most significant is the emotional and financial impact because of the suspension of visits to the home and the increased resources needed for monitoring and sanitation processes and protocols.
“COVID-19 aside, the needs of the home are generally associated with ongoing maintenance, water availability, mobility for the residents to and from medical facilities, and projects geared at making the operations of the home more efficient and effective. Twenty-twenty has shown us the vulnerability of maintaining a sterile, safe and uplifting environment for the residents and staff. With all this in mind, we are eternally grateful to the NCB Foundation and to Jamaica for granting us this wish ... and creating this platform of good for the country for years to come!” he said.
The Curphey Home is the top recipient in the nursing home category, and is among the more than 60 recipients in the 2020 NCB Foundation Grant A Wish Programme.