The Montserrat Newsletter October 2000 published the following article:
What is considered to be the first sheltered housing for the elderly in
Montserrat officially opened earlier this month. The housing unit is to be
named Garling Hill House and is in the Davy Hill area of the north of the
island. Research shows that the Garling is a local bird which was often seen
in the area.
The sheltered housing building was originally constructed a few years ago as a hostel for immigrant workers and has been extensively modified with funding from DFID to turn it into the building for current use.
The opening ceremony on 19, October saw speeches from the Hon. Adelina Tuitt the Minister of Education, Health & Community Services, the Hon. Rupert Weekes the Minister of Communications & Works with brief remarks from Ms Kay Jardine, Community Care Co-ordinator, Ms Sarita Francis, Director of Housing with prayers led by Pastor Abraham Riley. Ms Maudline Sweeney, the Principal Community Development Officer was the chairperson for the opening ceremony and residents of the home Ms Alice Antoine and Mr Charles Jeffrey spoke on behalf of all those who are living there. Other guests at the opening ceremony included H.E. the Acting Governor, Dr Howard A. Fegus.
Sheltered housing is not to be considered a residential home, it is in fact, a key resource in which frail, disabled older people can maximise their independence in security and support, yet remain empowered to live a normal life. Sheltered housing provides an environment that enhances the quality of life. It is expected that a further 30 sheltered housing units will be constructed at Look-out starting later this year.
As part of the official opening of Garling Hill House, there was a fruit tree planting campaign in the gardens to the rear of the house. The fruit trees are expected to be part of a backyard garden where residents can grow their own food to supplement their diets.
Garling Hill House provides a home for eight elderly persons and they have a full time caregiver in the person of Ms Joycelyn Bramble.