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More locations join cents drive

Alzheimer’s Association President Pamelia Brereton tries to empty one of the full containers, while PRO Cyril Burke lends a hand. In the background are others who came to contribute.

Close to 100 other locations have joined the Making Sense of Cents drive of the Barbados Alzheimer’s Association and the Central Bank of Barbados since it started.

But the association is now looking for additional volunteers to help with the counting and processing of the massive number of cents collected around the island.

President of the association, Pamelia Brereton said they started with 45 locations and are not up to 116, as more and more places call to find out how they can assist, but she noted as they gained momentum they would need help.

Today the partners in the drive hosted a central collection point with entertainment in Heroes Square, where the president noted that they had already collected about $7,000 worth of cents islandwide thus far.

She said she believed Barbadians were waking up to the fact that the population was ageing, but even beyond that younger and younger persons were falling victims of the disease.

“Alzheimer’s is a crisis and it is becoming more and more of a crisis all over the world, so Barbados is no exception. I sit behind the desk at the Alzheimer’s Association, so I get the calls and people need a place to drop off their loved ones and I can’t think of a better way to start off than with our one cents…

“We have an ageing society and this is a good example of what is happening. Everyone has a great grandmother or a great uncle now who is ageing, even mommies and daddies because it is not just people in their 60s and 65 and all that get Alzheimer’s, we are getting a number of younger people in their 40s and 50s now who have Alzheimer’s. So people are realising that they have to do something about this because it can be me next. No one knows.”

Event coordinator with the Central Bank, Laurie Blackman said the public could look out for more activities going forward, but she noted that in addition to the worthwhile cause, the drive would help to replenish the dearth of cents from the banking sector.

“Barbadians really don’t value [cents], they tend to dump them on the dresser drawer or in the ashtray of the car or pet bottle so as a result the Central Bank has to replenish its stock of one cent coins… So we thought if we could find a mechanism for putting the cents back in circulation it would help us, but we also recognised that the Alzheimer’s Association was a very worthy cause and because they had a need for a public drive,” she said.

The cents collected will be counted and the funds donated by the Central Bank to the Association. But Blackman also praised corporate Barbados that had helped in funding today’s set up in Heroes’ Square, as well as the entertainers and MCs who volunteered their time free of cost. (LB)

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