As is customary, the prospect of a New Year leads to reflection on what has occurred during the preceding one. For us at the Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP), 2014 was truly an eventful year and could be succinctly summed up as one of growth. BARP’s membership continued to increase at a significant pace topping 43,000 during the month of December. Areas of growth were also noted in alignment with the vision of the Association, that is, “to become the principal voice for the over 50 age group in Barbados”. With this in mind, we publicly represented membership on various issues which affected them and, by extension, the seniors of Barbados. We also undertook new projects all intended to improve the quality of life of our members.
At the core of BARP is its voluntary work which is spearheaded by a special group of individuals who graciously give of their time and effort to ensure that our various projects, events and activities are successfully executed. We envision that the year 2015 will mark further innovation in the projects that we pursue and therefore, took the opportunity to conduct a complete review and re-organisation of our various volunteer committees. The results were new terms of reference for each committee along with an infusion of new committee members and chairpersons leading those teams. We eagerly await the new projects which will come to life under the stewardship of tho se charged with their undertaking.
During the year under review, we strove to grow the “BARP Golden Health Plan” which offers the unique opportunity for you, the BARP Member, to sign up for health insurance up to the age of 75.
We also increased our staff complement to deliver better service to our members, modernised our membership cards and launched the BARP Visa Credit Card; the latter which promises an even more exciting and fulfilling 2015.
We approach 2015 with the knowledge that it will present some significant changes and challenges to the organisation and to our members. Therefore, we resolve to continue to advocate on behalf of our members’ interests in terms of the implementation of Reverse Mortgages in Barbados, the unresolved CLICO matter which affects so many of our members, and a stepped up response to the scourge of NCDs through continuing partnerships with the relevant NGOs. We are also actively seeking to expand our existing physical facilities to better serve the needs of the organisation.
The New Year promises to be one of opportunity for BARP to continue its work on behalf of the Fifty Plus in Barbados as we solidify our collaboration with like-minded organisations throughout the Caribbean advocating on behalf of the elderly and vulnerable in the society.
The Board, Management and Staff of BARP wish each and every Barbadian a most blessed and successful New Year.
BARP President - Edward Bushell