Persons who offered donations at last year???s National Independence Service can rest assured that their contributions have gone to worthy causes, with this morning???s presentation of cheques to two charities, at the Ministry of Social Care.

Permanent Secretary, Ernesta Drakes, explained that: ???The idea regarding taking an offering to be given to a special cause came from the organisers of the National Independence Service. Following this, it was agreed that the funds would be offered to Cancer Support Services and the Barbados Prison Fellowship.???

She added that it was hoped that the funds would bring comfort to those who received assistance from the two organisations.

Chairman of the Barbados Prison Fellowship, Win Callendar, thanked Ms. Drakes for the contribution.

He said: ???For over 25 years, I???ve been doing a programme called Angel Tree, which is designed to look after the children of the incarcerated and to provide them with some measure of hope at Christmas. Throughout the year, we try to make sure that, wherever we can, we provide clothing for the children to go to school, [their] books???at birthdays, we try to provide a gift as a token coming from the incarcerated father,??? he said, adding that the Fellowship was one of many across the globe that were part of the international Prison Fellowship Ministry.

President of Cancer Support Services, Gloria Hinds, explained that her organisation, which has adopted Ward C12 of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, offers support to persons with cancer and their dependents.

???We also reach out to children whose parents have passed away with cancer, so while we get support from other organisations, contributions like this are always helpful because it helps to go a long way??? we also help with funeral costs from time to time???and we offer counseling services,??? she said, adding that the body also hosted lectures and an annual conference to help educate the public.

???We want to thank the Ministry of Social Care and the nation of Barbados…this, coming from a national level, speaks volumes,??? Ms. Hinds said.

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