Sandy Lane Charitable Trust Presentation

Audio: Mrs. Phillipa Challis
Audio: Acting Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw
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Mrs. Phillip Challis [00:00:00] Good afternoon.

Mrs. Phillip Challis [00:00:01] Acting PM, Honourable Santia Bradshaw.

Mrs. Phillip Challis [00:00:05] Thank you for having me here today under such trying times when everybody’s so very busy.

Mrs. Phillip Challis [00:00:11] I’m delighted to be standing here today as trustee and representative of the Sandy Lane Charitable Trust. My two fellow trustees who are on island, are at the high-risk category, over 70 with preexisting conditions. So I’m afraid it’s only me here today.

Mrs. Phillip Challis [00:00:29] As many of you are aware, the Sandy Lane Charitable Trust has for many years now been helping children of Barbados in a variety of ways, from constructing facilities and schools for children with different emotional and educational needs, funding for many community projects, providing counselling in primary schools, to providing medical assistance both here and overseas to name but a few.

Mrs. Phillip Challis [00:01:03] We also annually donate in excess of half a million dollars every year to support those children who, through no fault of their own, find themselves in extreme poverty and deprivation. We help with food, school meals and uniforms. Unfortunately, in the current dangerous times of this COVID-19 pandemic, we are in uncharted territory. And the reality is that many people who have never had to seek assistance in the past from organisations such as ours before, have now lost their income and their independence and are now reaching out to gain support to purchase even the most basic amenities to feed their families. We truly appreciate and applaud the lengths this government has gone to, to keep us all safe and well. But we also realize that there are many, still many unknowns as it relates to the enormity of the economic impact and over what time period.

Mrs. Phillip Challis [00:02:11] The Sandy Lane Charitable Trust in the last 15 years has raised a staggering $60 million to help the underprivileged children of Barbados. And each year out of those donations, we have tucked away a little bit, or as the English would say, we’ve put some aside for a rainy day. We’ve wished to have an emergency fund in the eventuality that the island of Barbados suffered a natural disaster or a devastating phenomenon, a hurricane, which would be the most obvious example, and we could use this money over time to help feed and support as many families as possible. Well, we at the Trust believe that this time had now come. The COVID-19 pandemic has closed our borders and closed our businesses and has left many families without food on their table. And we felt we needed to help now.

Mrs. Phillip Challis [00:03:11] So in order to support the nation through this critical time, we have established the SLCT Feed A Family Programme – $1.5 million worth of supermarket food vouchers are to be issued. These will be distributed in the next six weeks through the 30 constituency offices to those families in most need. With a potential $1.5 million top-up if needed. That would bring the total to $3 million in three months. The Trust does not wish to be responsible for deciding who gets the extra support. That will be left up to the Members of Parliament in each constituency. We have to believe that they will be in touch with and have a better handle on those people who are in greatest need and not just those who shout loudest.

Mrs. Phillip Challis [00:04:05] The only restriction that we as a children’s charity is asking is that there be at least one child under the age of 18 resident in each household. It is a time when we all need to help each other and assist where we can. This money, while it seems a lot, believe me in the current situation, will not go far. Even with the government-funded Barbados Vulnerable Family Survival Programme and other amazing initiatives being organized by many other local charities and many individuals who are out there delivering boxes of food through this small nation, we know that there are many more out there who are struggling to buy the basic food items. If I have the figures correct for this week, I believe there are over 4,000 families that have applied to the Vulnerable Family Fund and that the budget is for seventeen hundred. And that is without all the other households that need our help and food that are not covered by either of our programs. So I’m also appealing to people and organizations. Please, please give what you can and continue to support the other community initiatives, even if it is to donate your valuable time and resources. It is equally beneficial in these challenging times. Remember, no act of kindness will go unnoticed and no contribution is considered too small.

Mrs. Phillip Challis [00:05:39] We at the Sandy Lane Charitable Trust are a very small charity, but with a big heart. But we could not do any of this work without the funding and support of our grand trustee, Derrick Smith, and the other owners of the Sandy Lane Hotel and the other overseas homeowners and local companies. These generous folk who donate money and items and help us raise these significant funds of money each year, help us to ensure that we can introduce these initiatives and support more children and their families lives, always. We are delighted to be able to help and we know it’s not enough, but it is a start. Thank you.

Hon. Santia Bradshaw [00:00:00] Mrs. ‘Pipper’ Challis and members of the Sandy Land Charitable Trusts. I want to take this opportunity on behalf of the government of Barbados to see a warm thank you and to express sincere appreciation for the donation being made to the people of Barbados and to allow the government of Barbados to certainly get the much-needed resources to those who require it at this particular point in time.

Hon. Santia Bradshaw [00:00:25] A few months ago, I recall with Prime Minister Mottley attending a dinner reception held by the Sandy Lane Charitable Trust, in the presence of several other donors, I recall Prime Minister almost fighting the tears as a video presentation was shown regarding the work that the Sandy Lane Charitable Trust had been doing across Barbados.

Hon. Santia Bradshaw [00:00:48] It was very touching, primarily because I don’t think a lot of people understand how much Barbados has been able to stay afloat over the course of the last couple of years with the assistance of not just the government, but certainly a number of private donors and a number of persons who have made Barbados their home. And to them, I want to say, is special thank you for the assistance that they have given to the country, to the people of Barbados, and to thank them for the love that they have shown to this small island in making Barbados a special place in their hearts.

Hon. Santia Bradshaw [00:01:20] This donation at this point in time is particularly important to all of us as members of parliament. And I know it will be particularly important to a number of the people who will be the recipients of the donations. I know it will go a long way to add to the support that we’ve obviously been giving as a government to those persons who are most vulnerable. But as Mrs. Callis has said, every little bit helps to be able to top-up what persons have right now been losing as a result of the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hon. Santia Bradshaw [00:01:51] And for that, we really want to see a thank you from the bottom of the hearts of all Barbadians for the assistance that you continue to give to Barbados and for the love and the appreciation for this little island. I hope that you will tuck away a little bit as well for post-COVID because I know the hurricane season is also fast approaching and we never know what lies around the corner. But we really want to thank you for this gesture, this very large gesture at this point in time to help the government of Barbados to go the extra mile, to help persons who are most in need. Thank you very much.

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