Region calls on BARP for assistance

edbushellThe local retirement body is increasingly being sought by its regional counterparts trying to establish similar robust agencies.

And the Barbados Association of Retired Persons says it is using some of its relationships and connections abroad to broaden participation and tap into the resources of its vast membership.

President Ed Bushell revealed that there were retirement agencies in Trinidad, Grenada, Jamaica among other countries making contact with the local body.

“We are actively seeking to have a regional meeting of these organisations in Barbados. They have asked us to host this meeting because I believe we are more advanced and we have counterparts in Trinidad, TARP; we got counterparts in Grenada, GARP; St. Lucia’s Pensions Association; in Antigua there is a pensions association as well and more recently there has been a new one formed at the university campus in Jamaica, Mona. In fact, I am going up there next month,” he said.

The University of the West Indies association, called the Caribbean Association of Retired Person, he said, had been formed mainly among retired faculty and other staff and he would be travelling to the second anniversary function.

There was also a group from Martinique where that association was structured differently, with small associations in each village and they were now trying to bring all under one body like BARP.

Similarly, BARP also had connection with the AARP in the US, along with associations in Canada and the United Kingdom, which new Executive Director Elsa Webster said Barbados could likewise learn from.

Webster had earlier indicated that one of the things she wanted to do to strengthen the association was tap the skills and resources of its members in ways and areas that could benefit BARP. It was something she indicated that the associations in Canada and the UK in particular had been able to do successfully.

“We do want to form stronger ties with them because they have organisations where they make good use of the skills of the people in the organisation, so that’s one of the things. As we try to allow the wider community access to the resources of our members, that’s one of the members we would want to address,” said the executive director.

BARP’s membership includes retired executives, managers, skilled persons whose services could be offered at a price to start up or junior companies that perhaps could not afford a consultant but could pay a fee and still benefit from years of experience.

This, said Webster, was one of the areas they were hoping to tap into with ideas for the Canadian and UK counterparts to pull the resources together in a way to benefit BARP. (LB)

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