| May 16, 2023

Residents of Pembroke Hall get wellness park

/ Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Parents and adults supervise children from the Pembroke Hall community in St. Andrew, while they play in the reopened Wellness Park, which was renovated by the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund. The park was officially reopened on Friday (May 12). (Photo: R. Fraser)

Residents of Pembroke Hall in St Andrew North Western have been provided with an additional facility to engage in physical activities, following the official reopening of a wellness park in the area.

The park was renovated at a cost of approximately $16 million and officially handed over by the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund, during a ceremony held on its grounds on Friday (May 12).

Community members and children have access to a jogging trail, playground area and benches as well as an area dedicated to playing table tennis and chess.

One resident, Joyce McFarlene, who has lived in the community since 1986, told JIS News she looks forward to taking her morning walks and having her grandchildren use the facility.

Teacher and mother of triplets, Bridget Thompson-Dunkley, pushes her children on the swings installed in the Pembroke Hall Wellness Park in St Andrew. The children are (from left) Jordan, Amelia-Rose and Amanda Dunkley. The park was officially reopened during a ceremony held on Friday (May 12). (Photo: R. Fraser)

Fitness enthusiast, Shelly-Ann Jackson, who moved to the area in 2010, said prior to the buildout of the space, she felt miserable not having an appropriate outside space to exercise.

“Prior to this being officially opened, we were allowed to come over and work out, and I, personally, train every day and I love it. For the four or three months they closed it for renovation I was so miserable and now it’s open and I’m excited, so I’ll be out jogging again,” she said.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke, who is also Member of Parliament for the area, in his remarks, pointed out that the park will help to improve the quality of life for the citizens.

“It is the absence of the option to play in safe surroundings that accounts for some of the social conditions that we observe in the country,” he said.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service and Member of Parliament, St Andrew North Western, Dr Nigel Clarke, addresses members of his constituency during the official handover of the Pembroke Hall Wellness Park, renovated by the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund, during a ceremony on Friday (May 12). (Photo: R. Fraser)

“Communities cannot be established if we just stay in our homes and have nowhere to congregate. It aids the emergence and deepening of a sense and spirit of community to have spaces such as this wellness park,” the Minister added.

For his part, Chairman of the CHASE Fund, Omar Frith, said provision will be made for additional works, such as installing a public bathroom and landing pads by the playground area.

“What you see here today is well-needed and relevant for this community, and it fits perfectly within the mandate of the CHASE Fund,” he added.

The CHASE Fund was established in 2002 to provide funding for the development of a wide range of socio-economic and cultural projects and programmes.


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