Minister of Family, Stephen Lashley, Yvonne Brewer of the Barbados Children’s Trust and Child Care Officer, Roxanne Sanderson-Weekes,??admiring??a painting at the new facility at the Nightingale Complex. (A. Miller/BGIS)??

The new purpose-built facility at the Nightengale Complex for children with disabilities has been completed and Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, is extremely pleased with the work done on the Black Rock, St. Michael institution.

Mr. Lashley made the comments today after touring the facility, which has been constructed at a cost of almost BDS$3 million. The funds were generously provided by the Barbados Children’s Trust, which has already refurbished three cottages at the Complex and committed itself to a three-year maintenance programme on any work it does.

The Minister explained that the completion of the facility had paved the way for the transfer of children from the Home in Haynesville to Nightengale. "With the relocation completed, there will be opportunity for increase day care placements in the St. James area," he disclosed.

He pointed out that earlier this year, he turned the sod to signal the commencement of construction of the building and at that time, both the Trust and the contractors gave a time-line of December, 2012. "So, I want to compliment the Trust and the contractors, Jada Construction, for completing this critical project on time and at no cost whatsoever to the Government of Barbados.

"This is a wonderful gift to the children of Barbados by the Barbados Children’s Trust, assisted by its partners, Jada Construction, in particular."

Child Care Officer assigned to the Violet Gittens Home, Roxanne Sanderson-Weekes, demonstrating to Minister of Family, Stephen Lashley, how to raise and lower the specially designed beds which were donated by various companies in the UK and USA. (A.Miller/BGIS)??

Mr. Lashley lauded the tireless efforts of the Directors of the Barbados Children’s Trust, namely Chairman Sue Magnier, Yvonne Brewer, Sir Kyffin Simpson, Lady Carol Bamford, Ellen Horesji, Sue Sangster, Clyde Turney and Project Director Danielle Tempro, whom he said he saw at the site giving of their time and advice.

"In addition, I am aware that all of the therapeutic equipment and the specially designed beds were donated by various companies in the United Kingdom and the United States of America, and for that I wish to thank them immensely," he stressed.

The Minister also praised Philip Tempro of Jada Construction and his team of workers for "the high level of workmanship at the facility" and thanked the management and staff of the Child Care Board for their work on the project.

The Barbados Children’s Trust is working with the Board to create a children’s village at the Nightengale Complex.

Mrs. Brewer said the Barbados Children’s Trust was "delighted" that the facility had been completed. She continued: "It has been specifically designed … to make the children’s lives more comfortable and make it easier for the staff to care for them."

She noted that the children moved in last Saturday and they seemed happy, settled and rested, while the staffers were pleased with their new accommodation.

About the Trust’s future plans, she stated that there was a derelict cottage at the Complex and planning permission was recently received to extend it substantially.

The Barbados Children’s Trust charity was started in 1997 to, according to Mrs. Brewer, "enhance the lives of children in Barbados". She continued: "It is the least we can do. We love Barbados, we come here, it is a privilege for us to stay here and we want to give something back to the island.

"Children are very close to all of our hearts … we love children, so this latest move is about providing the government with an infrastructure to enable it to raise the children so that they become useful members of society."


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