Feature
Regional Public Relations Manager for Sandals Beaches and Grand Pineapple Resorts in Negril, Jervene Simpson (left), hands over a package to an indigent resident of Hanover, at the annual health fair staged recently by the Hanover Poor Relief Department at its Miller’s Drive location in Lucea.
Photo: Serena Grant

Story Highlights

  • More than 250 indigent persons across the parish of Hanover benefited from medical and dental care and other services at a health fair staged recently by the Hanover Poor Relief Department at its offices on Miller’s Drive in Lucea.
  • Inspector of Poor, Neika Edram, tells JIS News that the fair, which is in its sixth year, not only targets the registered poor but other vulnerable persons as well.
  • “We also take homeless persons off the streets and give them hygiene care, provide them with meals, as well as hygiene and food packages through support from the (Hanover) business community,” she says.

More than 250 indigent persons across the parish of Hanover benefited from medical and dental care and other services at a health fair staged recently by the Hanover Poor Relief Department at its offices on Miller’s Drive in Lucea.

Inspector of Poor, Neika Edram, tells JIS News that the fair, which is in its sixth year, not only targets the registered poor but other vulnerable persons as well.

“We also take homeless persons off the streets and give them hygiene care, provide them with meals, as well as hygiene and food packages through support from the (Hanover) business community,” she says.

The Inspector of Poor lauded the main sponsors of the event, Sandals Resorts International, for its continuous support.

Regional Public Relations Manager for Sandals Beaches and Grand Pineapple Resorts in Negril, Jervene Simpson, says her company has been on board since the fair’s inception in 2013.

“We augment the packages given to the registered poor and homeless in Hanover. Items such as rice, cornmeal and sugar are used to create food packages, which are then distributed by the Poor Relief Department to attendees at the fair,” she tells JIS News.

She highlights that volunteers from Sandals are also on hand to distribute new or gently-worn clothing, as well as school supplies and other items.

Ms. Simpson says the resort chain stays on board because it recognises the importance of providing assistance to less fortunate members of society.

“All the (Poor Relief) Department has to do is tell us the date (of the fair) annually. We budget for it because we realize the need and the importance. We realize how many persons we are touching and these are the persons who need the assistance,” she points out.

Meanwhile, beneficiaries are lauding the Hanover Poor Relief Department for staging the annual fair.

Kenrick Malcolm from the community of Santoy, who suffered an eye injury in 2010, tells JIS News that he is grateful for the assistance provided through the fair.

“They help me with my eye drops and a portion of my fare to go to the hospital in Kingston most of the time, so I appreciate them. I have been coming to the fair since it started,” he says.

His father, Neville Malcolm, notes that “things have been difficult” since his son got injured, and he “appreciates all that the staff at the Poor Relief Department has done for us over the years.”

Sharon Watt from Forest District says she looks forward to the school supply packages that are issued.

“Every time I come I get school supplies, so it (the fair) helps out a lot. I also get lunch money to send my children to school. I want to thank the Poor Relief Department for their assistance,” she said.

The heath fair held under the theme: ‘Homelessness is everybody’s business,’ included presentations from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Registrar General’s Department (RGD), and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) on their programmes and initiatives, while representatives from the Lucea Fire Department spoke about fire prevention.

Medical and dental services were provided by the Hanover Health Department and Hanover Health Services.

Staff from the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA) conducted HIV testing, while the Lucea Fire Department performed blood sugar and blood pressure checks.