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Ex-servicemen share holiday joy

President Ricardo Swire with residents.

Residents of the Elayne Scantlebury Centre had a special treat on Sunday when the Ex-Military Services Association of Barbados came a-calling.

President of the association, Ricardo Swire, said that members, “armed with sincere emotions of care and concern”, descended on the St. Lucy District Hospital on Sunday to contribute to the readiness of the centre’s new home, by painting the assigned building, redesigned to accommodate the special needs of the residents.

The immediate surroundings were also cleared and cleaned.

“The association [also] hosted an evening of Christmas Treats for the 27 residents of the centre, at their new home… This was our demonstration of fellowship and an effort to provide some joy and merriment.

“Our facilitation also provided a reminder to these special human souls that although they may be marginalised from what is considered ordinary society, they are neither forgotten nor their human emotional needs ignored because of physiological or psychological challenges and abnormalities,” Swire said.

The president also said that it was “collectively agreed that the transition was necessary, because conditions at the previous St. Andrew location had deteriorated to the point where the comfort levels and required security arrangements, needed for these special residents, were unacceptable” and on September 19, 2011 with their efforts spearheaded by the Special Projects Committee, the association committed to the provision of tangible assistance to the special residents of the centre as a long term project of interest. The centre was previously located at Belleplaine, St. Andrew.

Swire added: “During the course of 2012, in consistent pursuit of this commitment, a collaborative effort spearheaded by the Ministry of Health was undertaken. [The association’s] participation in this venture, allows [us] to continue to demonstrate our motto, ‘Continuing To Serve’, while contributing to the improvement of Barbados’ social landscape.

Community service is one of the association’s mandates.”

It was a registered non-profit organisation, established in 2009.

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