The Manchester Infirmary, located at Royal Flat, has received well-needed supplies from university student, Ramona Geohaghan, with support from the Mandeville Hotel.
Miss Geohaghan, who is a final-year communication student at the Northern Caribbean University (NCU), says the gesture was done for the infirmary as a class project, and she feels great to have reached a group of persons who need public support.
After conceptualising the project, she assembled a group of volunteers, and approached the Mandeville Hotel for sponsorship, and hosted a breakfast to raise funds to purchase the supplies.
“When I reached out to the Manchester infirmary, which I have visited before, I knew they were in need of a lot of items. So I said ‘what can we do to help?’.” she says.
Miss Geohaghan adds that the Mandeville Hotel is a breakfast destination, “so I thought maybe we could tap into that and we could do a breakfast sale to give back”.
Having delivered the needed support to the infirmary, Miss Geohaghan says she is grateful to the donors and the volunteers who packed the items and helped with the delivery.
She is encouraging other young persons to make it a habit to give back and help others in need.
“Life is a cycle, and it is not like telling someone to give to receive, but because you never know where you will be two weeks from now or two years from now; you could be in a position that you would wish someone would give back to you. So, we have to give back. I think that’s the most beautiful thing and I think that’s the best purpose anyone could have on earth to give back,” she tells JIS News.
Meanwhile, Assistant Matron at the institution, Keisha Williams, notes that the items received included protective gloves and robes, medical supplies, food items, medication, masks, bottled water and other items.
“Those items are used on a daily basis, and are very beneficial to the Infirmary. We are very grateful and appreciative of all the items that we got. The staff and residents thank the donors,” she tells JIS News.
Miss Williams adds that due to the health challenges caused by the COVID-19, they had to curtail visits to the infirmary, which has 68 residents, but persons can leave items at the gate, and at the offices of the Manchester Municipal Corporation, located at 32 Hargreaves Avenue, or telephone 876-963-3370.
In addition to the breakfast, the student also hosted a talent competition to raise additional funds for the project, and to empower youth in the Mandeville area of the parish.
Anika Hornsby, who won the event, says she is grateful for the opportunity to be able to express her talent while supporting a good cause.
“I would like to thank Mandeville Hotel for their investment in the youth and their talents, and it speaks volumes,” she says.
“I know they have inspired us as youths to push on. Without them we wouldn’t have a space to keep the competition, and we are so grateful they have chosen to stand by us,” she notes.
Meanwhile, Marketing Manager at the hotel, Tanielle Elliott, says she was very happy to reach out to other business owners for support.
“I think the pandemic has highlighted how much we need to work together as a community, and while we spearheaded the campaign, it has truly been a collaborative effort and we have had the support of so many business persons in and outside of Mandeville, who have really come on board and supported the infirmary with their donations,” she shares.
Ms. Elliott adds that it has been “enlightening and encouraging” to see the efforts and results when people work together.
“I’m encouraged to do it again. I think it is something that we would want to support, and if we are able to get more partnerships and more sponsorships, we can definitely do it again,” she tells JIS News.
The infirmary is operated by the Manchester Municipal Corporation, with a mandate to provide a caring environment for the destitute in the parish. It works closely with the Poor Relief Department to reach individuals who are unable to care for themselves.