Disbursements during 2016 were $317K with $75K of this being allocated to our monthly pamper drive and $50K towards our Home Therapy Program.   Requests for support in both of these areas are continually on the rise as they are critical, not only to the basic needs of the children, but also to their quality of life and overall well-being. The Home Therapy Program has shown to be tremendously rewarding to all of the children who benefit from this as well as their families.    Sadly, therapists are lacking on the island and it is therefore impossible for the children to receive the degree of ongoing physio and occupational therapy required to maintain good physical and physiological health and to enhance their mobility as well as other functions such as speech, hearing, tactile and auditory. The other caveat is the parents’ ability to afford fees for these services. By facilitating close to 500 home visits during the year, our two therapists were able to make significant progress with the children.

Medications comprised another $21K and as always the Trust endeavours to support as many special projects as possible outside of its regular annual commitments.   In this regard, $27K was provided for additional projects such as support for therapists to attend intensive programs in Trinidad which enabled them to bring valuable information and techniques back to Barbados, an Anat Baniel Method (ABM) specialist’s program was supported, critical surgical procedures and equipment (suction machine), and a donation towards Cerebellar Atrophy treatment in India for one child, to name a few of these projects. The Trust also donated a communication device ($15K) to the Schoolhouse for Special Needs

During 2016, construction of the Because of Jenna Trust Respite Centre, located at the Thelma Vaughan Memorial Home, commenced. The building was funded by the Sandy Lane Charitable Trust as well as the TVMH; additionally SLCT generously offered to fund the outfitting of the Respite Centre.  This has therefore been an exciting time for the Trust to finally realise what has been our dream for several years. Over the years, the Trust has diligently set aside funds to support such a facility but we were still a long way off in terms of achieving this when Sandy Lane Charitable Trust approached us with their offer. Suffice to say, we were pleased to accept and to be able to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Thelma Vaughan Memorial Home which would mutually work well for both of our organisations especially as our mandates are somewhat aligned.   

The Because of Jenna Trust Respite Centre opened on October 2nd, 2017 and we have four participants at this point.    Our caregivers are family members of some of the children who are now also benefitting by receiving salaries while still being able to care for their siblings as well as receiving exposure to the therapeutic techniques used daily by our RTT and the consulting Physiotherapists who visit regularly to provide programs for the participants and check their progress. The residents of the Thelma Vaughan Home are also benefitting from the services of the Respite Centre as they are rostered in daily for sessions with the RTT. It is heart-warming to read the daily reports from our Administrator which paint the picture of a ‘home away from home’ for these children who were otherwise confined to their beds or wheelchairs all day.

The realization of our Respite Centre fully operational is a huge accomplishment for the Trust and a “game-changer” in terms of our work. Managing a facility such as this requires more resources both physical and financial. As such, and in conjunction with our plans to make this a reality, we have been working closely with the Aspire Program in order to achieve accreditations which will increase the awareness of the Trust to be better positioned for grants and donations worldwide. Our goal is to offer respite care to as many children as possible so the intention is to increase the number of participants during 2018 now that we have passed the first few “start-up” months and are handling the current numbers well.

As always, writing this Annual Report each year is a good reminder of the steady growth of the Trust over the years and the impact that our work makes on so many lives each year, none of which would be achieved without the consistent generous support from you all. On behalf of the Trustees and myself, please accept our heartfelt thanks for your faith in our work and for your ongoing support. We take this opportunity to wish you and yours a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful Christmas.

As always,
Anna Clarke
Founder & Trustee