Barbados’ efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19 got some added help on Tuesday with the donation of a mobile vaccination unit to the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) from the twelve local companies in the Goddard Enterprises Limited (GEL) group.
The fully branded Nissan Urvan 2020, which will be part of the country’s mobile vaccination programme, is expected to be on the road in a few days, taking BDF medical personnel into communities to vaccinate and educate people about the virus and the value of vaccination.
Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of GEL Anthony Ali presented the vehicle’s keys to Chief of Staff of the BDF Commodore Errington Shurland. Ali told Commodore Shurland that the GEL Group recognised and applauded the BDF for its work in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 and was 100 per cent behind them and appreciated their efforts.
Ali noted that there were many difficulties which the country has been facing since COVID-19 entered Barbados. He said that GEL went through some troubling periods trying to keep its businesses afloat amid curfew, lockdowns and with employees absent due to COVID-related illness. As a group, he explained, GEL recognised that it was their corporate responsibility to do something to help in the fight against the spread of the disease as well as to help Barbados in its recovery.
Ali added that he hoped other organisations would come forward and play a role in this recovery. He explained that the coming months, which will see the start of the tourist season, were critical for the country, but people were nervous, adding that it was therefore important for visitors to be able to recognise that Barbados was a safe and beautiful place.
The idea to donate the mobile vaccine unit came from GEL’s Divisional Financial Controller for Automotive Andrez Greene while in conversation with Stephanie Catling-Birmingham, the Divisional People Manager responsible for Automotive and Talent Development, who ran with the idea.
Ali said when the managers of each of the companies were asked, they unanimously agreed to be involved in providing the $100 000 van, since they realized that it was important to give back to the people of Barbados and it tied in well with the company’s 100th anniversary which was celebrated last Wednesday 13th October 2021.
In response, Commodore Shurland said he accepted the mobile unit with profound gratitude adding that the fight against the spread of the virus was the responsibility of the whole society. He commented that it was a critical and timely donation that would extend the vaccine outreach. He also acknowledged that it was a clear indication of the corporate social responsibility of the company and confirmed that the van will be well used. He added that he was sure that the Government, Prime Minister Mia Mottley and the people of Barbados would appreciate this gesture. (PR)