Recreational centre for Sunny Acres courtesy of Jamalco

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MAY PEN, Clarendon — The Sunny Acres community here now boasts a fully furnished recreational centre, thanks to a project funded and facilitated by bauxite/alumina company, Jamalco.

A news release from the company informed that a team of Jamalco Good Deeds volunteers, led by the company’s Mine technical superintendent, Glenroy Lawrence, carried out the project.

The Good Deeds programme encourages each Jamalco employee to volunteer at least 50 hours at local non-governmental organisations. In recognition of this, the company provides a grant of $25,000 to the beneficiary institution.

The release said that for the past five years, Lawrence has mobilised the support of some 20 co-workers, some of whom reside in the Sunny Acres community, to help with the completion of the building for the recreational centre.

After spending over $2.5 million, the Jamalco volunteers have transformed an unoccupied construction site to a fully functional facility.

“In 2010, the citizens’ association broke ground for the construction of a community centre after the approval was granted by the Clarendon Parish Council. However, the project ceased in 2013 due to inadequate support and no funding,” said Lawrence.

Things started looking up for Sunny Acres in 2014, when Lawrence, who was then president of the citizens’ association, was encouraged by community relations officer at Jamalco, Natalee Irving, to sign up for the Bravo! Volunteer programme (now Good Deeds) to continue the project.

Lawrence said the team will continue its Good Deeds project in 2019.

Fellow Good Deeds volunteer, Hazeth Mitchell-Foster, said she is proud of the progress that has been made so far.

“It’s a really good feeling seeing the end results, knowing that when we started the project five years ago, the building was just a shell. Good Deeds is unlike any other volunteer programme and I can’t think of any other company in Jamaica which offers such a beneficial opportunity to its employees and their communities,” she said.

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