Cockpit Community Centre in shambles

April 25, 2018
The Cockpit Community Centre in Clarendon was damaged by Hurricane Dean in 2007 and is now in need of repair.
The Cockpit Community Centre in Clarendon was damaged by Hurricane Dean in 2007 and is now in need of repair.
Fiona Gordon president of Cockpit Citizens Association.
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Residents of Cockpit are pleading for attention to be given to their community centre.

Laurel Livingston and Fiona Gordon, executive members of the Cockpit Citizens' Association, desire to offer programmes to unattached youth and young mothers at the centre.

"We want to reach those on the verge of breaking out. You see them on the roadside, just idling - both young men and women. We want to capture them before the police do," Gordon, president of Cockpit Citizens' Association, said.

The centre, she said, would be the perfect place to implement training programmes and other activities. It was damaged by Hurricane Dean in 2007 and is now in need of repair.

"The roof is half gone, it needs rewiring, tiles, fixtures - everything that you can think of in building," points out Livingston.

On the occasions when the association hosts meetings, persons have to utilise pieces of board as seats.

In addition to hoping for repairs to the community centre, the residents are convinced that investment in the people of Cockpit is important.

"We are singling out the young women because a lot of them have young kids that they are responsible for," said Livingston.

Cockpit is a small community that is sandwiched between Longville Park Housing Scheme and Salt River. It can be found on the outskirts of Salt River Road.

Livingston said there are just about 1,000 residents in the community, and it is her dream to have everyone empowered so that no one has to be afraid to walk the streets.

"Too many times a community breaks out because all the 'little signs' were ignored. We need to now start being proactive instead of reactive," she said.

The executive members of the Cockpit Benevolent Society hope that an organisation or government entity will sign on to assist them in getting the centre up and running.

Still, until that happens, they are trying their best to work with what they have.

"There is a Rural Agricultural Development Authority officer that is assigned to us. she comes and teaches us to make chutneys and preserves. we use a coal stove, so she has a long wait," said Livingston.

"We have also done periodic sessions on food preparation, sitting out in the wide open. I'm sure we could triple that with the roof," Gordon said.

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