CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS, October 30, 2020 (DBSKN) — Senior citizens on the island of Nevis have been given the assurance that even as the country grapples with the negative effects brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic calling for the scaling down of a number of activities, care and attention extended to them will never be scaled down.
“I want to remind the seniors that never mind we had to curtail the programmes in the centres and the gatherings; that the Social Services Department, Seniors Division and the Nevis Island Administration we continue to look out for your best interests,” said Minister of Social Development in the Nevis Island Administration, the Hon Eric Evelyn.
The Hon Evelyn, who is also the Federal Minister of Environment and Cooperatives, made the remarks on Thursday October 29 at an Awards and Luncheon event for seniors held at the Jessup’s Community Centre. It was organised by the Senior Citizens Division of the Department of Social Services in the Ministry of Social Development.
Five seniors, one each from the five parishes in Nevis, and two special honourees were awarded at the colourful ceremony which was chaired by the Deputy Director of Social Services, and person in charge of the Senior Citizens Division, Ms Joyce Moven.
“Covid or no Covid, we continue to look after you,” the Hon Evelyn told the seniors. “We continue to take time to look after you, and that is something that we will always do. You have the commitment of this Department, and you have the commitment of the Nevis Island Administration, that you will never be forgotten. We always have you at heart and that will always continue.”
According to the Hon Eric Evelyn, the country has been going through a pandemic since March of this year, but the Department of Social Services has been very busy to make sure that the seniors continue to get the care and attention that they deserve.
“When we had the lockdown period, when many of us had to stay at home, our caregivers were out there and some of the relatives of our seniors were out there because our Social Services Department would have collaborated with the Police Department to make sure that our caregivers and the relatives of some of our seniors had the requisite pass to be on the road to take care of our seniors,” observed the Honourable Minister.
He added: “Even though we had to curtail our activities during the year since March, the programmes continue. Of course our seniors continue to benefit from the Light and Water Programme, they continue to benefit from the Bus Pass Programme, and of course our caregivers continue to be a constant contact with our seniors, whether it is their phone call, or whether it is their short visit.”
The seniors awarded were Ms Bernadette Lewis from St. Paul’s, Ms Constantia David of St. Thomas, Mrs Violet Perkins of St. James, Mr Reuben Williams of St. George, and Mr Carlton Pinney of St John’s. The two special honourees were both from St. James, Mrs Essie Delashley from Butler’s and Mrs Janet Herbert from Mt Lilly.
Deputy Director of Social Services, Ms Joyce Moven, noted that notwithstanding the situation brought about by the pandemic, the Senior Citizens Division of the Department of Social Services in the Nevis Island Administration continued to celebrate the older persons with its customary month of activities during the month of October. The activities were held under the theme ‘Pandemics: Do They Change How We Address Age and Ageing?’
“At the Senior Citizens Division we recognise the need to continually engage our older populations and as such we understand the need to modify programme delivery to be effective,” said Ms Moven. “Today as we salute and acknowledge the contributions made to the development of Nevis by our awardees, we want to commend them for all of their efforts and to let them know that their pioneering works have not been in vain. Yes we are in challenging times but sometimes overcoming challenges is as simple as changing the way we think about them.”
The function was also attended by the Deputy Director Department of Social Development in St. Kitts, Mrs Ann Wigley, who was accompanied by Homecare Officer, Ms Andria Caines.
Others present included Director Social Services, Nevis Island Administration, Mrs Sandra Maynard-Morton; Director Community Development Department, Mrs Jeanette Nisbett-Maloney; Senior Citizens Division Coordinator, Ms Trudy Prentice; Junior Clerk, Ms Jameika Morton, who assisted in the distribution of awards; Community Outreach Officer, Mr Frank Clarke; and Community Caregivers.