The sum of $155,000 out of a target of $500,000 has been raised to donate towards the rebuilding of the Carlton Home by the Grenada Co-operative Bank Limited (GCBL) under part of its healthier lifestyles programme.
A ceremony was held last week Thursday in which four cheques were presented towards the Carlton home initiative.
Since 2017, the Carlton Home has been the selected charity to benefit from proceeds of the annual “Pump it Up” Family Walk organised by the bank which is concerned about the effects and impact of substance abuse on the population.
The 2019 Pump it Up Family Walk, which was launched at the Grenada Cooperative Bank last Thursday, is expected to generate more funds towards the refurbishment of the home.
According to Manager of Customer Care at the Bank, Roger Duncan, thousands were raised in 2018 towards the cause as 10,430 pump it up participants raised $22,000 toward the establishment of the Carlton Home project.
Duncan said that $65,000.00 have already been raised from Benefactor contributions this year and “we anticipate significant participation from registrants to add to the amounts collected”.
Managing Director of GCBL, Richard Duncan indicated that a Trust Fund has been set up for the rebuilding of the home, and is being managed by corporate bodies.
Duncan recalled that the bank in 2017 entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with “alliance partner” like Flow Grenada Limited, Jonas Browne and Hubbard Grenada Limited, Guardian General OECS Limited and established a Trust Fund and a Board of Trustees to manage the resources that are being generated to assist with the re-establishment of the Carlton Home.
He disclosed that funds will be solicited by the entities up to 2021 or until the government is ready to begin construction of the home.
“We at the bank, the trustees, for the re-establishment of the Carlton Home do not have any figures from the Government of Grenada as to the cost for the project. We have taken an approach that whatever the design that the government comes up with, our funds will be used to assist with the re-establishment of the home”, he said.
“At the end of our period, if we reach the target or whatever target we reach, we would work with the government to contribute to whether it is the purchase of appropriate beds, whether it is to purchase equipment for the kitchen or whether it is to purchase dining sets and other amenities and that would be determined by the trustees”, he added.
Duncan pointed out that those involved in the trust fund have a plan that will be executed and not leave everything up to government.
He said: “… Some are of the misguided impression that if the government comes up with a budget for the project, the trustees would write a cheque and say ‘hey, do your thing. That is not the approach. The approach is that we would collaborate and we would see how best our contribution would assist in the re-establishment”.
During last week’s presentation ceremony, fifteen thousand dollars was donated by Jonas Browne and Hubbard and Managing Director, Philbert Lewis stressed that the company is proud to be associated with the Carlton Home Project.
“My research showed that when the first Carlton Home came about, Hubbard was one of the major contributors towards the building of that home, and today again we are on board, we are very proud of being attached to this project. The reason being, this project brings some level of hope to persons who may have been destroyed by the use of alcohol”, he said.
“… This project will also help save the lives of some family members who have been on the brink of being destroyed by the use of alcohol, so we are extremely proud to be part of it. We give our unwavering commitment to the success of the programme and we trust that persons, not that we will want them to, but if the need comes around, they will make use of the project”, he added.
Flow also donated $15,000 to the initiative and its Sales Director, Juan Bailey affirmed that this was an initiative that the telecommunications provider will remain committed towards.
Bailey said: “We, the Flow family are proud of being one of the initial benefactors to come on board to support the rebuilding of the Carlton Home. We are all aware of the impacts that substance abuse has on our communities. We the Flow family are proud (to be) a partner and we remain fully committed to supporting those who are battling substance abuse so that they can indeed become valuable contributing factors to our society”.
Another $15,000 was donated by Antillian Group whose Managing Director, Kennie John noted that the effects of substance abuse can no longer be ignored on the island.
“In taking part in what I would call a social responsibility, which we have no choice as part of the Grenada Corporate society ….we need to make sure that we serve our people. In serving our people, it is important that this particular effort is coined and we recognise certain elements of society that could bring our citizens to a point where they feel hopeless – mental health – and with that, substance abuse; abuse in our society that we’ve ignored for some time. We cannot ignore it, we need to take part. So, that being the case, Antillian Group, through one of the companies, Antillian life is proud to be associated with this event and this venture”, he remarked.
Senior Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Sonia Nixon disclosed that government is hoping to start with seven beds in re-establishing the Carlton Home.
The medical doctor acknowledged that substance use management has different layers and it is difficult to just tell someone and expect them to just stop drinking.
“It’s actually quite deadly, and alcohol is actually worst than every other substance when it comes to removing yourself from its use, people can actually die. So, there is that layer, and there is the layer of just treatment and then there is the other layer and then there is the expanded numbers.
“So, it goes beyond just having one house with just ten beds. You may need a house that has 10 acute beds and 30 beds…because (a person) may need two weeks of rehab ….may need six months of rehab, so it depends.
“What we are trying to do is look at the people who have the greatest need and we have to start small because we don’t have a lot of money.
According to Dr. Nixon, government has put some money into the budget for the re-establishment of the Carlton Home project because “the people who have benefitted can tell you how much it has done for them”.
“We don’t know how much we need …but we know that we want to start with seven beds but in two years we should have 30 beds…”, she said.
The annual “Pump It Up” will take place on April 7 in Carriacou, starting at the Harvey Vale Playing Field and into the Hillsborough Tennis court, and on April 28th the Grenada leg is scheduled from the Morne Rouge Playing Field to the National Cricket Stadium at Queen’s Park.
Participants are encouraged to make a special donation to the re-establishment of the Carlton Home on purchase of their packages, which is being offered at $20 for individuals and $15 for persons of groups of three or more.