Call for volunteers

From left: Alisa Boyce, Kemar Saffrey, Sandra Bryan and Andrew Wilkinson.

The Barbados Vagrant and Homeless Society would like more volunteers.

Chairman Kemar Saffrey told the media after receiving a gift of clothing from Cave Shepherd last Friday at their Broad Street City store, that while the volunteers had were great they needed people to assist with the upcoming graduation.

“They can freely call the office and come and be a part of the graduation but persons are great when [it comes] to volunteers. We’re working now with the Barbados Vocational Training Board and we would like to see more teachers who have spare time, if they come on board and teach these guys a few classes in the Maths and the English during the week, that would be great. We’re working with some already but we need some more and anyone who has counselling ability, or UWI or any other schools to come on board and help us in that area, that would be great as well,” he said.

Saffrey said they had already made an appeal to the academic institutions and had also written the Ministry of Education about “sending us some teachers” as it would go a long way towards helping the men they are seeking to rehabilitate regain their reading, writing and counting skills.

“We want to be able to give them some sort of knowledge especially when they have to sign documents, they should be able to read and understand a document before they sign it so that’s something we want to touch on as well,” he added.

Product Category Manager of Duty Free Caribbean, Sandra Bryan, Store Manager Andrew Wilkinson and Manager of the First Floor, Alisa Boyce, presented the charity with the donation of clothing.

Bryan said she knew of Saffrey “for quite a while now” as well as some of the others involved and she was “inspired by the fact that they’re young and they want to actually do something for the society, especially for the vagrants”.

The buyer of men’s wear said that after a sale they liked to look at the product and give to charity rather than “stick it in a box and tuck it away”.

“We’re givers. This is what we do at Duty Free Caribbean. There shirts, underwear, anything in men’s apparel, trousers, anything that will help the guys out there on the street so they can dress appropriately and feel good about themselves.

“It’s a goodwill thing for me, I do like to do things charitable. I’d rather give than have it sitting somewhere and because of Kemar and the young set of people that have set this up, I think it’s really important this is how you build you’re younger people,” she said.

Saffrey said that the clothing helped tremendously.

“Cave Shepherd has been helping us over the last few years that we’ve been working with them. Now we have a great purpose for the donation because on the 27th we’re having our biannual event where we’ll be giving away clothing, food, counselling, mentorship, health tests, AIDS tests, diabetes tests. We’ll be giving away the clothing there so it came just in time for us to be able to help those less fortunate persons,” he said.

The chairman noted that they not only gave men clothes for job interviews but also if they were successful in their quest.

What he also said was that things have been hectic after moving to their new headquarters in Bay Street.

“We’ve been working with a lot of clients, they’ve been able to walk in and walk out as they feel so we’re working with a lot of clients and doing a lot of stuff so it’s really more hectic now than before. We have new guys coming out of rehab, we have new guys going into the rehab programme, so we have a whole heap of programmes going on now,” Saffrey said. (DS)

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