Force feeds Geriatric Hospital

The Barbados Defence Force (BDF) has extended a helping hand to the elderly at the Geriatric Hospital, while contributing to the institution’s supply of fresh foods.

Fifty-one campers from the BDF’s youth summer programme, Camp Energy planted a kitchen garden at the day care centre of the Beckles Road, St Michael hospital and donated a bench to compliment a small garden.

Campers engaging in birthday celebrations with one of the Geriatric Hospital Day Care clients.
Campers engaging in birthday celebrations with one of the Geriatric Hospital Day Care clients.

Chief of Staff of the BDF Colonel Alvin Quintyne offered to continue the partnership with the Geriatric Hospital, not only in terms of assisting with the gardening, but also by ensuring that young boys and girls maintain contact with the elderly who are warded there.

“Do feel free to call upon us for any assistance which you may [want] and not wait until the next summer camp next year. Feel free to give us a buzz if there is any assistance that we may be able to provide for the staff and patients who are here,” Colonel Quintyne said.

Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) Colonel Alvin Quintyne (left) listening to words of wisdom from 80-year-old Lorene Marshall as they sat on the bench donated  by BDF’s 2015 campers.
Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) Colonel Alvin Quintyne (left) listening to words of wisdom from 80-year-old Lorene Marshall as they sat on the bench donated
by BDF’s 2015 campers.

Despite the limited space the garden occupied, a variety of crops were planted including eggplant, tomatoes, sweet peppers and cucumbers. Quintyne said he hoped the project would have a lasting impression on the young minds of the campers whose three-week camp ends on Friday.

The campers also brought a smile to the patients and staff of the hospital with their sweet voices as they sung hymns and choruses, while some patients joined in.

“I hope the elderly folks who are here will thoroughly enjoy the products that will come from the garden. If you allow us, I would like to maintain this relationship because I do believe that the interaction that young children have with the elderly in society would redound to their own benefit. It is also good for the young individuals to be doing something for the elderly in our society,” he said.

BDF’s welfare officer Harriet Clarke said today was the second time the hospital was chosen as the location for the service project because of its close proximity to the BDF’s St Ann’s Fort base.

“We came here on August 12 and we planted vegetable crops so that there will also be a source of food for the patients here at the hospital. We came back before the end of camp so that the children can see how the garden is growing. We also donated a bench so the patients would have somewhere to relax when they go out into the garden to see the greening,” Clarke explained.

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