One philanthropist is expressing grave concern about the state of the Geriatric Hospital and other elderly care facilities across the island.
In fact, Chairman and co-founder of the Maria Holder Memorial Trust Christopher Holder is so disturbed about the state of those facilities that he has promised to bring about change in a significant way.
“I am concerned . . . about the condition of the Geriatric Hospital and the condition of care homes and I am not happy about it. And normally when I am not happy about something, something gets done,” Holder told the official opening ceremony of the Maria Holder Nursery School Gall Hill, in Christ Church this morning.
He recalled a visit to the Geriatric Hospital shortly before the Christmas holiday and being touched by the condition of the facility which houses some of the island’s most helpless senior citizens.
“It is all very sad and we are determined to make a significant change and improvement to facilities for elderly care in Barbados,” he said without providing details.
Holder told his audience, which included Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and several members of his Cabinet, as well officials from the Ministry of Education in Antigua and Barbuda, that the Trust was also embarking on a number of developments and redevelopments across the island, including the Silver Hill Community Centre, which should be “up and running very soon”, and the development of a “more interactive” children’s gallery at the Barbados Museum, which would appeal to both locals and visitors.
“That one that is there now is tired,” he said of the current gallery.
He also announced plans to either develop or redevelop play parks in every parish as part of the Trust’s 50th Independence anniversary “gift” to Barbados, as well as skate park facilities across the island, the first near the Gymnasium to be opened in 2018.
“It is a phased project. If it is successful and looked after properly, phases two and three will start. That again is a lovely opportunity to give back to the community,” Holder said.
He promised the Trust would continue to work with the ASPIRE programme, a charities support network, as well as the Dance4Life and Supreme Counselling programmes, which assist youths in addressing issues surrounding bullying, sex and other life choices.
He said a plan to introduce a special needs education project was currently in its embryonic stage, with further discussions expected with Stuart in the coming months.