Minister of Social Care, Christopher Sinckler and Co-Director of AIDS-Free World, Stephen Lewis share a light moment during the Fifth Annual Conference of the Bereavement Support Services.  Also pictured at right is Permanent Secretary, Sonja Welch.   

A Government Minister today praised the National Assistance Board’s (NAB) Bereavement Support Services for helping persons to cope with issues of loss.

Minister of Social Care, Christopher Sinckler, as he addressed the Fifth Annual Conference of the Bereavement Support Services, said the programme “has been making an invaluable contribution to the national, community and individual levels as Barbadians seek to deal with the question of loss in its various forms”.

Noting that the volunteers, who included nurses, doctors, and housewives, were committed to the betterment of their community, Minister Sinckler said: “Even those with the strongest of wills and the greatest desire to contribute had to be trained and exposed to skills and levels of engagement outside their respective professions.” 

To date, some 700 persons have been trained and 27 cell groups have been established to meet the needs in the community. 

Pointing to the magnitude of the work of the Bereavement Support Services, he revealed that during the period 2005 to 2008, the NAB had dealt with 402 cases from its headquarters, and these included accidental and cancer deaths, heart attacks, and fire victims. 

Meanwhile, Head of the AID Section of the Canadian High Commission, Douglas Williams, also lauded the work of the Bereavement Support Services and said that it should be used as “a best practice model for others in the region”. 

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