Prime Minister David Thompson greets Chairman of the St. John Ambulance Association of Barbados, Brigadier Rudyard Lewis during a courtesy call at Ilaro Court. Looking on is Sub-Prior of the Order of St. John, Professor Villis Marshall.

Barbados is hoping to work closely with organisations like the worldwide Order of St. John to assist it in executing some of its social programmes, like the Constituency Councils and its youth affairs projects.

Prime Minister David Thompson told this to Professor Villis Marshall, Sub-Prior of the Order of St. John, yesterday during a courtesy call at his Ilaro Court official residence.

The Order of St. John, formerly known as the St. John Ambulance Brigade, has been instrumental over the years in providing training for organisations around the world in a number of areas including First Aid and Health and Safety.

The local body, the St. John Ambulance Association of Barbados, according to its Chairman Brigadier Rudyard Lewis, who attended the meeting, "is keen to assist in devising a first-response training manual for use here; as well as to help in teaching First Aid, training instructors, disaster mitigation work, leadership training, and the youth development programme."

The Prime Minister, in welcoming the initiative, said the organisation could lend a hand with Government’s National Summer Camp Programme in the future, and "could possibly form an alliance with national youth groups. Over time, we also want to provide our youth with basic human survival skills; so, I am 100 per cent behind this type of involvement," Mr. Thompson noted.

The St. John Ambulance Association of Barbados has been in existence for some 70 years.

Meanwhile, Professor Marshall, who heads the global body; Brigadier Lewis; and Commissioner of the St. John Ambulance Association of Barbados, Rodney Yarde, met with the Minister of Youth, Family and Sports, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo; and the Minister of Social Care, Christopher Sinckler, today and explored areas of possible cooperation between their respective ministries and the local association.

Dr. Byer Suckoo said there were several areas in which Government could collaborate with the organisation.

Minister Sinckler agreed, stating that some of the organisation’s programmes fitted neatly into what Government was doing and a project was identified which they could work together on. He continued: "We are going to look very closely at the proposal and work with your local team."

Professor Marshall said his organisation was looking to develop more cohesion in the Caribbean, adding that more could be achieved if they worked in partnership.

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