Farm Heights/Rose Heights community centre gets Labour

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THE spirit of volunteerism was alive and well at Farm Heights/Rose Heights Community Centre in St James on Wednesday, Labour Day, where scores of people participated in the main parish project.

From as early as 8:30 am, volunteers, including a team from the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), descended on the community centre, armed with their paintbrushes and other basic tools, where they began working.

“We are here today to give this place a facelift… to make it as comfortable as possible for our children and also the adults,” said Member of Parliament for St James Central, Heroy Clarke.

He said that the facility, which includes a basketball court and a homework centre, provides an area “where kids can play and find something productive to do with their time”.

He said that the JPS, along with the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority and National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), must be commended for continuously undertaking improvements at the facility and for ensuring “that this remains a model” for other community centres throughout the parish.

Clarke told JIS News that there are plans to “build out an area where our award-winning marching band can practise”.

“We have over 70 members who come here religiously to practise and who have been a mainstay for both communities. We also want to develop other components such as a steel band and also a stage band. We want to always keep our youngsters occupied so they can stay out of trouble,” he noted.

JPS regional director, Leroy Reid said his company has been associated with the homework centre at the facility since 2012 “where we pumped in some $2.5 million to get it up and running”.

“Today, we are [here] putting in some new computers as well as to spruce it up a bit,” he said Thursday.

The facility, Reid said, is equipped with Internet service and provides a quiet place for students to complete assignments, do research, and also access printing and photocopy services.

“This is more than a Labour Day project for us. This is really one of our pet projects; and we are taking this opportunity here today to do some more work. We are very much a part of the Farm Heights and Rose Heights communities and will continue to do our part in promoting education,” Reid said.

Leon McKenzie, a resident of Farm Heights, expressed pleasure at the large turnout of volunteers, noting that the residents were appreciative.

“We know the importance of having this community centre here… [and] its usefulness and its role in brokering peace and keeping our young people out of trouble. This is one of the main reasons why you see so many people out here working,” he said.

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