Christmas 2012 will be a lot brighter for children now living in the Haynesville Children’s Home thanks to the CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, (CIBC FCIB) through its ComTrust Foundation.

The Bank recently presented officials of the Barbados Children’s Trust with a $50 000 donation towards the completion of a new state-of-the-art facility at the Nightengale Home which is being constructed to accommodate children with special needs and improve their living conditions.

Touring the facility being constructed from left to right are Debra King, Director Corporate Communications, CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, Daniel Farmer, Managing Director Barbados, CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank and Ms. Yvonne Brewer, representative of the Barbados Children’s Trust.

The new facility, which is expected to be completed by December, will feature separate dorms for boys and girls, a special room outfitted with UV lighting for children with particular disabilities, a bathroom designed to accommodate wheelchairs and beds to allow care givers ease in bathing children, and a special therapy room outfitted with specialised furniture and beds for physiotherapy.

Representative of the Barbados Children’s Trust, Yvonne Brewer, in expressing thanks to CIBC FCIB for the generous donation also explained that the new facility will allow Government to assist more children with special needs and allow their parents to return to work knowing their charges will be well cared for while they are away.

She added that the new facility, which sits on 6,500 square feet of land and will cost over $2 million to construct and outfit, will be staffed with a social worker, house parent and aunties to care for the children during the day. “It will be less of an institution and more like a home,” Ms. Brewer added.

CIBC FCIB’s Managing Director for its Barbados business Danny Farmer, in handing over the cheque, stated “CIBC FirstCaribbean is happy to assist the children in care. By this contribution to the construction of this building we are not only helping the children (who will be accommodated here) but their whole family, who can rest easier knowing that their children are in a safe, nurturing environment.”

Ms. Brewer also pointed out that staff training in the use of the specialized equipment would be conducted between November and December in time for the official opening of the building.

On completion of the new facility, the building presently housing the children will be used to increase the number of daycare spaces available in the densely populated area of Haynesville.

In addition, the Trust has also applied for permission to rebuild and extend another derelict cottage on the same site at the Nightengale Home to accommodate ten babies living in unsuitable conditions at another institution.

“We would like to begin work on this cottage this summer subject to planning permission and funding. All of these buildings are Government-owned and managed,” Ms Brewer added.

The Barbados Children’s Trust was formed in 1997 by a group of friends who wanted to enhance the lives of children in Barbados. It has evolved into an organization almost entirely focused on providing facilities for children in residential care.

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