JIS News

Handcart operators in the parish of Trelawny, are being encouraged to join the recently formed Trelawny Handcart Association, to reap the benefits from being a part of an organized group.
Vice President of the organization, Charles Williams, told JIS News that the association has brought about positive changes in its members in that they have become more united as a body, working to achieve one common goal.
“The association is doing a lot for us and we are proud of ourselves because we are learning how to save and budget our earnings. We are learning how to survive and our aim is to increase our membership and expand our business so that we can get even more recognition from the public,” he said.
He stated further, that an account has been opened at the Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS) branch in Falmouth and each member of the association was expected to make a contribution. The money will go towards development projects, with an immediate goal being the purchasing of uniforms.
Alistair Hinds, who has been in the handcart business for over 30 years, told JIS News that he had no intention of giving up the profession.
He said that the establishment of the association has brought respect to the profession. “Before this association came into being, people use to look down on us and sometimes scorn us because they use to see us as nothing, but since we formed this association, we have been getting respect from the people and things have changed in how they see us now,” he said.
Meanwhile, President of the Trelawny Chamber of Commerce, Dennis Seivwright explained that the Trelawny Handcart Association emerged from the Chamber’s ‘Reach out and Touch’ programme, which was designed to promote unity among citizens in the parish.
“To date, the Trelawny Handcart Association has 10 registered members and we are teaching them to be self reliant and not to depend on hand-outs. We want to make them into a uniformed body and so we have come up with the idea for them to begin to wear yellow shirts on which they will have a contact number and their popular nickname to the front,” he informed.
Mr. Seivwright noted that the shirts would also bear the drawing of a rainbow at the back, which will seek to represent a ray of hope for the members of the organization.
In terms of future plans, Mr. Seivwright pointed to the acquisition of a mechanical handcart, to make the work of the operators easier and would be cared for in the same manner as a regular motorcar.
“We want to try and raise the bars for these young men and train them to become entrepreneurs because they too are operating a business,” he told JIS News.He is appealing to the members of the public to support the Trelawny Handcart Association and help the operators to accomplish their goals.