Community focus | Group linked to Dinthill donates mattresses to hospital in Linstead

Linstead Public Hospital in St. Catherine has received six brand new mattresses from the Dinthill 1983 Link Up (Extension), which is associated with Dinthill Technical High School.

“In making the donation, we decided that we wanted to contribute to the well-being and health of our country,” said Careen Davis, Treasurer of the group’s Jamaica-based chapter.

The group, founded 18 August 2019, is the brainchild of Olive Joan McClaughlin-Mateen, who now lives in the United States.

It has 37 members so far, and is pushing to grow its membership among people who participated in Dinthill Technical’s first extension programme from 1979 to 1983.

The extension programme catered to students who attended paid afternoon classes at Dinthill Technical in Linstead, but were not enrolled in the formal school system.

After being separated for nearly four decades, members of the 1983 extension batch started bonding again in a structured way.

They used communication technologies to stay close though physically distant in Jamaica and other countries such as the United States, Trinidad and Tobago, Wales, and Canada.

The renewed bonding does not only redound to the benefit of group members. The community of Linstead and its environs are also benefiting.

In its largest community outreach yet, the group, after much brainstorming, picked Linstead Public Hospital to become the latest beneficiary of its benevolence.

“We brainstormed and we decided finally that we would do something with the hospital, seeing that’s where most of us, our relatives, friends and others get our medical care,” said Davis, who also is a retired public health nurse.

She further explained that, to ensure the most appropriate item was being donated, she visited the hospital and had a discussion with Chief Executive Officer Paul McIntyre and Director of Nursing Services Vivette Lawrence.

Davis told The Beacon: “I remember Mr. McIntyre said, ‘We needed some mattresses like now’… We went and got six mattresses.”

Davis noted that the mattresses, supplied by Boss Furniture, were designed to meet the hospital’s expressed specifications, including size, and being waterproof and fire resistant.

Members of Dinthill 1983 Link Up (Extension) delivered the six mattresses for adults, along with a baby cot one, on February 26.

Davis said the hospital’s management was highly appreciative of the group’s kind gesture.

She added that the donation turned out to be timely, especially considering the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. “They really needed those mattresses,” Davis commented.

Another member of the group, Adrea Johnson-Lewin, told The Beacon that the Dinthill 1983 Link Up (Extension) intends to undertake other projects in and around Linstead.

“It is our intention to go bigger and go better,” she declared. “We know that there are other stuff that the hospital needs, so we will be coming up soon making some other donations.”


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