Sun | Dec 5, 2021

Inner-city’s neediest grateful for Tank-Weld care packages

Published:Wednesday | May 5, 2021 | 12:06 AMJudana Murphy/Gleaner Writer
Bruce Bicknell (right), managing director of Tank-Weld Metals Ltd, hands over care packages to Carlton Byfield for distribution to needy persons in the inner city.
Bruce Bicknell (right), managing director of Tank-Weld Metals Ltd, hands over care packages to Carlton Byfield for distribution to needy persons in the inner city.
Carlton Byfield (left) presents Patrick Cunningham with a gift bag, courtesy of Tank-Weld Metals Ltd, on Sunday.
Carlton Byfield (left) presents Patrick Cunningham with a gift bag, courtesy of Tank-Weld Metals Ltd, on Sunday.
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Sixty-six-year-old Carlton Byfield has taken pleasure in being one of the main distributors of care packages funded and prepared by Tank-Weld Metals.

Since last year, the steel and lumber company has donated over 5,000 bags of food and toiletries to some of Jamaica’s neediest.

Byfield, a Waterhouse resident, is also a member of the management team of the Waterhouse Football Club.

“Ninety-five per cent of the bags are for extremely old people who cannot leave their homes. Some are blind, some in wheelchairs, some are in bed and they need assistance,” he said.

Byfield explained that because of COVID-19, many of the beneficiaries have not got their usual visits by friends and family.

As a result, they have limited resources on which to survive.

“I find my role fulfilling. I take time off from my job as an upholsterer to do this because I know the needs of the people,” he pointed out.

The role was fitting for Byfield as he knows a wide cross section of people in the greater Waterhouse area – “young, rich, poor, you name it”.

Byfield said the recipients are always grateful when they get a package because it comes as a surprise and sometimes when their cupboards are almost empty.

“I allowed one to talk to Mr Bicknell the other day. She said, ‘Thank yuh, God bless yuh, mi love yuh’. They are just happy for it,” he recounted.

Byfield has also partnered with a few churches to identify more elderly people who are in need.

He reasoned that through their outreach ministries and feeding programmes, they would have already known the location of these people.

He also commended Tank-Weld for giving back, even amid the pandemic and making the decision to extend the project into 2021.

Tank-Weld boss, Bruce Bicknell, told The Gleaner that with lay-offs and the reduced opening hours in many businesses, there is less money circulating in communities.

“The elderly are more vulnerable than usual at this time, so Tank-Weld Metals decided to donate another 1,000 gift bags to Waterhouse and several other inner-city communities throughout Jamaica,” Bicknell said.

judana.murphy@gleanerjm.com