JWNF commits to redevelopment of Thornton community centre in St Bess
Tanikie McClarthy Allen
True to its mantra – Developing lives and communities for a better Jamaica – the JWN Foundation has enhanced its partnership with Thornton district in St Elizabeth and its environs, by sponsoring the redevelopment of the community centre there.
Nestled within the Appleton Estate environs in the breadbasket parish, Thornton is home to approximately 4,000 residents who stand to benefit from the commitment that involves renovating infrastructure for skill and educational development, plus improvement of the local sporting landscape.
The JWN Foundation is partnering with the elected representatives in the area, who have committed to equally fund the project that was conceptualised by the non-profit group, Thornton Community Club, which was relaunched in 2017 under the motto ‘Evolve, adapt and welcome change’. It hosts meetings every Sunday with an audience of over 250 members ranging from 12 years old upwards.
“The foundation truly welcomes the opportunity to participate in this critical and game-changing development,” said JWNF CEO, Tanikie McClarthy Allen. “It is what we do, it is who we are, impacting growth and giving back to our communities.
“We are particularly pleased with the shared approach by way of partnership and commitment from those who stand to benefit greatly, the community, due to the prospects of sustainability and other elements that inculcate individual and collective responsibility,” she added.
This latest initiative adds to the JWNF’s continuous commitment to its operating communities, which includes recent upgrades to Scott’s Cove, Middlesex Infant School and Appleton Estate Basic School, plus Read Across Jamaica Day activities, which involved book giveaways.
The primary objectives of the Thornton Community Club project are skills training facilities (working in partnership with Heart Trust; a local bakery (with the community club’s own brand); a homework centre for children; adult literacy and numeracy classes; first-aid and fitness clubs; and a fenced and lighted playing field that is capable of hosting various tournaments.
Thornton’s citizenry identified the needs and planned accordingly to tackle a major factor affecting the community – unemployment - which results primarily from a lack of skills. This struck a chord with the JWN Foundation, whose main pillars are education, arts and social inclusion, which are covered in every aspect of the project.
The skills training centre and bakery should be greatly beneficial in making the youth more marketable, improving their livelihoods and boosting morale in the vision of having a community brand.
Aligned with the foundation’s strategy is the Thornton community’s involvement in the overall process from visioning stage to planning and beyond, as that is considered important in ensuring responsibility and ownership of the initiative.
“We envision a multi-purpose community centre and sport complex that has the ability to accommodate all citizens of our community,” the Thornton Community Club remarked in a release. “It will bring our community together from all ages and ethnicities to share in various culture, art, education and recreation. It is to be the hub of the soul and spirit of our community.”