Singing Santas ... Artistes bring Christmas cheer to physically challenged
If the best way to spread joy and cheer is by singing and dancing, then recording artistes Ken Boothe, Mr Lexx, Chi Ching Ching, Shenseea, and Devin Di Dakta filled the Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre (SJGRC) in Mona with holiday spirit.
The centre was treated by the three generations of recording artistes, courtesy of Headline Entertainment and Breakthrough Communications, on Wednesday.
The rehab centre is the first of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean to serve patients afflicted with polio from birth to 25 years old, or until they are able to manage on their own.
“It is important because it helps with the process of integration,” said matron Andrea Christie.
“When a person has lost their independence, it puts them in the mode of hopelessness, and we try to engage patients into normal societal activities to show that even though there are setbacks, they still belong,” she added.
“What make it more worthwhile are the reactions, and all the patients were very aware, and knew all the artistes and songs that were playing,” Christie continued.
Shenseea gave a special donation to the SJGRC of an industrial washing machine.
“Actually, the rehab centre is somewhere I have a lot of memories, especially attending the Hope Valley Experimental Primary School. I would always walk through the centre as a shortcut, and even play inside their facilities. It meant a lot to donate a piece of equipment that will help the children,” Shenseea told THE WEEKEND STAR.
After a bit of ward-hopping and carolling, toiletries and equipment, including an electric kettle, were also handed over to the SJGRC.
Jerome Hamilton, managing director of Headline Entertainment, has kept a close relationship with the centre since 1997, since the event Good Times, and has managed to maintain involvement throughout the 20 years with the help of his team.
Chi Ching Ching made every effort to make the patients feel comfortable, despite having disabilities and being unable to participate in the foot movements of the artiste’s dance tracks.
“It means everything to be here,” he said. “I also want to show them say don’t feel no way if you can’t use your leg. You have your hands, upper body, or whichever of your limbs, move them because you way up and stay up,” Chi Ching Ching said.
The Way Up Stay Up artiste performed with Mr Lexx and Devin Di Dakta, and also highlighted that generations can come together for a bigger purpose, no matter how small the stage is.