National Labour Day project expected to boost morale at St Ann Infirmary
Mini Miss St Ann 2022 Keandra Daley (right) and fund-raising director for Heaven Sent Foundation Daneille Clarke peel paint off walls at the St Ann Infirmary to prepare them for whitewashing.(Photos: Akera Davis)

OCHO RIOS, St Ann — It's been a long time coming. That was the reaction of nurse's aide Maxine Jones to Tuesday's sprucing up of the St Ann Infirmary, which was selected as this year's National Labour Day project.

Jones has worked at the infirmary for 12 years and she thinks the upgrade was overdue.

"It is a good initiative to give the place a good fix-up because it hasn't gotten one in a while. We are very grateful for it," she told the Jamaica Observer.

All around her, volunteers were busy painting the administrative building, renovating the kitchen and dining area, rebuilding a chicken coop, and whitewashing walls.

Director of the Mammee Bay Optimist Foundation Nadine Sterling-Mattis (on ladder) and secretary/treasurer Rochelle Cohall prep infirmary walls for painting on Labour Day at the St Ann Infirmary.

Members of the St Ann Municipal Corporation, along with several voluntary groups from communities within the parish, were among those determined to make the project a success. Some painted while others raked, swept and hammered where necessary.

"It happened just the right time — on Labour Day – when everyone can come in and play their part and give a helping hand. These residents are all blessed to have so many people caring for them," Jones said.

The infirmary's matron, Alicia Drummond Knight, believes the improved surroundings will boost the efficiency of her employees.

"It is a most welcome facelift because something like that hasn't happened in a while. It will be motivating, especially to the workers, and [will] push them to do even better," she said.

Chief executive officer at the St Ann Municipal Corporation, Jennifer Brown-Cunningham agreed.

"We want the staff to be working in an environment that allows them to give of their best, and that way the residents will be well taken care of," she said.

Among local representatives who were elated that the Ministry of Local Government selected their infirmary as the national project was mayor of St Ann's Bay, Sydney Stewart.

"We have mobilised our team well to support the infirmary with this beautiful facelift," he told the Observer as he worked. "Our heart goes out to the Minister [of Local Government Desmond McKenzie] for providing care for these residents."

The St Ann Infirmary is home to more than 90 elderly residents.

BY AKERA DAVIS Observer write

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