The Grenada Co-operative Bank Limited (GCBL) is spearheading a major initiative to help restore the Carlton House facility to deal with the problem of alcohol abuse on the island.
Managing Director of the Bank, Richard Duncan has announced that the annual family fun walk, “Pump It Up” would be used to attract funding for the project.
During the launch of the project last week Monday, a total of $40,000 was donated from three corporate entities on the island towards the re-establishment of Carlton home.
Both Flow and Jonas Browne and Hubbard contributed $15,000 each while another $10,000 was donated by Guardian General Insurance OECS.
According to Duncan, a Trust Fund will be developed at the bank to keep the monies for the next five years while government finalise plans for the re-establishment at the facility.
A four-man board of trustees has been identified to oversee the Trust fund comprising of Duncan himself, along with business executives, Alan Bierzynski, James Pitt, and Ronald Hughes.
Duncan said the aim of the fund is to raise half-a-million dollars over the next five years through corporate citizens for the Carlton Home project.
He pointed out that the board “will be the one to determine when and to what aspect of the re-establishment of the Carlton Home those funds are to be used”.
“…Those trust funds will be in very good hands not just because of the caliber of the trustees that will sit on the board but more importantly the bank in which the funds will be held…”, he said.
“I wish to underscore the point that none of the funds so contributed will go to underwriting the cost of Pump It up,” he added.
THE NEW TODAY understands that $16, 000.00, which was collected from Pump It Up 2016, will be handed over to the Trust fund for Carlton Home.
Pump It Up T-Shirts are currently on sale at $15 each for groups of three persons and above and $20 for a single person.
The walk will be held April 2nd on the sister isle of Carriacou and April 23rd in Grenada.
The proposed route on the mainland is a 6-mile walk from Morne Rouge in St. Grand Anse to the National Stadium at Queen’s Park.
Duncan also took the opportunity at the launch to thank the private sector entities for understanding the importance of re-establishing the Carlton Home.
“We are indeed very pleased, very happy, elated at the fact that prominent corporate partners such as Jonas Browne and Hubbard, Flow and Guardian OECS Limited have seen it fit to join with us in donating for the next five years the funds raised from this event to the re-establishment of the Carlton Home.
“This we believe has a special importance for the fact that most times corporate entities in Grenada tend to act solo – very rarely do they come together for a common cause and to leverage and to share their brand.
Bierzynski who is the Managing Director of Hubbards implored upon the government to have the facility up and running in time for the monies to be put to use in the next five years.
He spoke of available data pointing to an increase in the problem of alcohol dependence in the country.
“I hastened to say that the problem is not alcohol, it is the dependence and abuse of alcohol because alcohol has been with us for a very long time and so just as we have to face up to many other issues, it is a question of accepting where the problem lies and taking appropriate action to rehabilitate, educate, treat as the case may be”, he said.
“…We are pleased to be associated with promoting the awareness, with drawing attention to the fact that we need to re-establish the facility, previously known as the Carlton Home and with this creating of awareness we hope that our partners in the community, in the private sector and most importantly the policymakers in government will understand the need to set aside in the budget adequate funding … in five years time – so that the trustees will be able to say here is the money and this is how it will (be) applied to the facility which you have built”, he added.
Health Consultant for Pump It Up, Dr Sonia Johnson acknowledged that there is a lot of substance abuse in Grenada.
“The records show, the statistics show that it has increased a lot over the years from the younger ones right up to the older ones, starting with what a lot of us might call simple alcohol but it’s been a problem and the bank has seen that there is a need to help there,” she said.
According to Dr. Johnson, although some work is being done, the victims are still in need of full rehabilitation.
“There is some counseling, there is some work going on at the moment but it’s all on a day to day basis – you go in for some counseling and you go in for some help and then you go back home. Before they had the Carlton Home up in Parade and that really helped in terms of curbing the problem because it was a place where you can stay and get rehabilitated and counseled and this has a big advantage when it comes to correcting substance abuse. We need that location for them to be temporarily housed for a while to help them kick the habits,” she remarked.
Medical doctor Sonia Nixon who is attached to the Ministry of Health announced that a new site has been identified for the reconstruction of the Carlton Home at the Princess Alice Hospital in Mirabeau.
She said the plan is to build a state of the art facility in three phases over a period of five years at cost of $EC2.629 million dollars.
Dr. Nixon pointed out that phase one will involve renovation of the existing hostel that will offer basic programme and residential services for about 7 rooms, while phase two consists of the construction of more dorms, content facility and the final phase will be putting in place a periphery wall and an outdoor sporting facility.