Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
BVI Services is currently in need of human resources in order to effectively and efficiently deliver its services.
The programme, which is under the purview of the Disability Services Division of the Social Development Department is an adult day programme for persons with mental and developmental disabilities.
Programme Coordinator, Georgene Henry-Bedford related that the programme currently has 13 participants, who have disabilities such as Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Mild/Moderate Mental Retardation and Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Founded over 20 years ago, Henry-Bedford explained that the Programme was originally designed to provide services to the community.
“Originally it was designed for work…there was a work programme where individuals in the community would come in and give us work to do,” she stated. These services included laundry services and packaging.
However, following the hurricanes of 2017, they began to focus mainly on the cognitive development of their participants.
According to the Coordinator, “After the hurricane, we had to abandon that and focus on dealing with the cognitive development, teaching them about independent living, working on their social skills, things like that.”
This, she said, is being done through a range of activities.
“We do cooking, we do swimming, they like a lot of outings, games, basically everything that you would do as an individual. We take them to the supermarket…dancing…we try to let them understand that they are normal, they just have a disability…nothing is wrong with them. We focus on inclusion,” she stressed.
However, there are challenges that they face in delivering this critical service.
Expounding on these issues, she said “Human resourcing, we don’t have staff here.
“Most of the participants need one-on-one and we don’t have that at this point in time. So that is our biggest challenge.”
Additionally, they also need their own space as they are occupying a rented facility. She is optimistic that if they get their own building, they would be able to expand the range of services they offer.