Wellness Centre for Hanbury Home
By Alicia Sutherland Observer Staff Reporter
Monday, February 09, 2015
HANBURY, Manchester — The Hanbury Children’s Home in Manchester was recently the beneficiary of a wellness centre, thanks largely to a United States-based foundation made up of Jamaicans living overseas.
Volunteers from the group JAHJAH (Jamaicans Abroad Helping Jamaicans At Home) and others collaborated for the project which, organisers say, started late last year and was completed in January.
Founder and Christiana-born physician Dr Trevor Dixon said the main focus of JAHJAH is to improve the quality of life for Jamaicans through health care and education.
Activities since the foundation was formalised in 2011 include the donation of an ultrasound machine to the Mandeville Regional Hospital; donation of equipment to Kingston Public Hospital; renovation of the Kingston Public Hospital accident and emergency area, emergency and critical care ultrasound workshops, initiation of a paediatric oncology conference and a health fair at the Ulster Spring Health Centre in Trelawny; donation of furniture to Moravia Primary in Manchester and screening for conditions such as HIV/AIDS, blood pressure and diabetes at dancehall sessions.
Explaining how the concept of a wellness centre at the Hanbury Children’s home first came about, Dixon said that the JAHJAH Foundation originally had plans to do a project for orphans. However, following dialogue with JAHJAH member Andrea Peper, who is originally from Spalding but now resides in Canada , the decision was taken to assist the Hanbury Home.
Administrator at the Hanbury Home Major Jennifer Brown said that plans for a sick bay evolved into the Wellness Centre concept when the JAHJAH Foundation got involved.
Brown explained that the building which was reconfigured to house the wellness centre, was years ago, the living quarters for house mothers. Though in a “dilapidated” condition, she had chosen it as the site for the project before she even knew how the renovation would be funded.
“We thought it (JAHJAH’s contribution) was just minor repairs… but it went way beyond that,” she told Observer Central.
Brown said apart from the building, necessary features for the centre such as a retaining wall, a driveway and wheel chair ramps were put in place.
Equipment and supplies including an examination bed, cribs and first aid kits were donated for the facility.
Brown said she expects that practical nurses and periodically doctors will be at the wellness centre and foresees a range of services that will be offered assisting the children of the home and community in a “holistic” way.
Recently retired Children’s Officer of the Child Development Agency (CDA) in Manchester Lascelles Crew told Observer Central that wellness is not only about the absence of diseases. Even staff at the children’s home will benefit from having a space to care for their overall wellbeing, he said.
The Hanbury Home operated in Central Manchester by The Salvation Army currently has 54 children, ages seven months to nineteen years old.