Governor visits the Cayman Islands Red Cross

| 09/04/2019
CNS Local Life
Governor Martyn Roper and his wife, Elisabeth, with staff of the Red Cross

(CNS Local Life): Governor Martyn Roper and his wife, Elisabeth, recently stopped by the Cayman Islands Red Cross (CIRC) as part of an ongoing familiarisation tour of the islands, learning about the agency’s programmes and services. During the visit, the governor also formally accepted an invitation to become CIRC patron for the remainder of his term in the Cayman Islands.

With hurricane season just over seven weeks away and this year marking the 15th anniversary of Hurricane Ivan, disaster manager Edward Tinling-Miller provided general information about disaster preparedness in the Cayman Islands and the CIRC’s efforts to raise awareness of, and enhance preparedness for, all forms of disasters, stated a Red Cross press release.

These efforts include providing nine 40-foot containers with disaster relief supplies spread across the districts, training and ongoing communication and engagement of the Community Emergency Response Teams in partnership with Hazard Management Cayman Islands, shelter management training, large-scale disaster simulation exercises, public awareness campaigns, and managing the CIRC hurricane shelter. 

Tinling-Miller also invited the governor to visit the containers as well as participate in the forthcoming disaster preparedness exercise to be hosted in conjunction with the Cayman Islands Cadet Corps.

First aid programme manager Peter Hughes spoke about CIRC’s first aid work, which includes both stand-alone activities and support to the national disaster management plans. These activities include first aid, CPR and AED training, first aid coverage of community events, and basic water safety and life-guard training and inspections.

In 2018, CIRC’s first aid programme trained almost 1,000 people in first aid and CPR. Its volunteers offered first-aid support in 58 events including Kaaboo, the year’s biggest event in which they provided medical assistance in 82 of 94 instances, the press release said.

The programme also provides support to the Health Services Authority as needed during national emergencies, as well as supplies first aid-trained volunteers to all non-emergency shelters throughout the islands as part of the national disaster plans.

Thrift shop manager Remy Imperial explained the fine balance of running a community outreach programme as well as an income generator that plays a key role in sustaining the organisation. 

“Our main function is to assist the most vulnerable which we always do, but the shop is also responsible for raising funds for the organisation that ensure that necessary programmes, like disaster manager and child protection, are able to deliver their programmes,” she said in the press release.

Through partnerships last year with key agencies such as the Needs Assessment Unit, Department of Children and Family Services, Department of Immigration and Cayman Islands Prison Service, 135 vulnerable clients received free assistance via the referral system that is in place between the CIRC and those agencies, as well as other NGOs.

In 2018, more than 15,000 customers were served by the shop, apart from the “Deals on Wheels” programme where a mobile version of the store travelled to the districts 14 times throughout the year.

Carolina Ferreira, deputy director and child protection and sexuality education programme manager, gave an overview of CIRC’s activities in the area of child sexual abuse prevention and the multi-agency partnership “Protection Starts Here” (PSH).

In 2018, 600 people participated in the free Darkness to Light “Stewards of Children” child sexual abuse prevention training, which is offered twice a month by the CIRC and its partners. The PSH partnership also trained 12 youth-serving organisations in policy development and continues to push for the development of national standards for all of these associations in Cayman.

“Our focus continues to be in building capacity and resilience at the individual, family and community level,” Ferreira said.

For more information go to CIRC website, email or call 925-2251

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Category: Community, Service Organisations

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