SOCIAL SUPPORT SERVICES
The Barbados Defence Force Social Services Cell is comprised of professionals dedicated to ensuring the well being of BDF personnel and their families. The services offered by the cell include counselling and mental health support for concerns related to bereavement, relationship conflicts, mediation of child maintenance and access, as well as employee engagement and workplace satisfaction.
The Social Services cell also facilitates BDF personnel linkages and referrals to agencies to access resources; conducts home or hospital visits to ill soldiers, civilians or their relatives as well as assist military personnel in their readiness and transition before during and post deployment.
Through the BDF’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation Committee, the Social Services Cell develops and delivers educational, social and leisure programmes all of which are aimed at building and maintaining individual well being and force wide morale.
Coordinator Of Social Services
Social Services Coordinator Harriet Clarke
Harriet Maria Clarke took up the post of Force Welfare Officer BDF on 16 June 2014. Her social work career has spanned agencies such as the Barbados Family Planning Association, the Welfare Department (both National Assistance and Family Service sections) and the Ministry of Health Ladymeade Reference Unit.
Her professional and social work training has afforded her opportunities to provide interventive and supportive services to persons facing several life challenges and social problems including chronic illnesses, poverty, domestic violence and other challenges.
Her career at the BDF focuses on providing command support emotional care to personnel for matters related to grief, parental conflicts and workplace satisfaction. Additionally, she is tasked with developing social and educational programmes to enhance and sustain the well-being of servicepersons, civilian members of the BDF and their families. Family activities include the annual summer camp Camp Energy and the annual children’s Christmas Party.
Harriet Clarke holds a Master of Science in Social Work (Marriage and Family Therapy Specialisation) from the Kent School of Social Work University of Louisville, Kentucky USA. She is a proud alumnus of the University of the West Indies Cave Hill and Mona Campuses and of the Alexandra School
SOCIAL SUPPORT ACTIVITIES
Have a Heart Charity 5k Walk & Run
Military boots and civilian sneakers got an opportunity to mingle when the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) staged its inaugural Digicel Barbados Defence Force Have A Heart Charity 5k Walk & Run on Saturday, 6 August 2016. The main objective of the charity event was to raise funds in aid of the Precious Touch Foundation - a registered charity that grants wishes to terminally ill children between the ages of 2 and 16. The event began at 0600 hours at the BDF Headquarters, St. Ann’s Fort, and traveled along Bay Street, Wharf Road, Princess Alice Highway and climaxing on Spring Garden Highway. Over 600 persons took part in the event and along the route members of the Barbados Cadet Corps proudly carried the commemorative Broken Trident for the 50th anniversary of Barbados’ Independence along the route. Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defence Force, Colonel Alvin Quintyne, urged participants of the event to use the Precious Touch categories of wishing “To Be”, “To Have”, “To Go” or “To Meet” as a measure to reflect on whether they were living up to their full potential.
Have a Heart Charity 5k Walk & Run
The Barbados Defence Force (BDF) hosted an annual two week Summer Camp during the month of August. This annual camp is specifically tailored for the children of BDF employees between the ages of 5 and 14 years.
In addition to providing an educational environment with fun activities, the aim of the camp is to foster a supportive and functional relationship within the BDF family network and to provide BDF personnel trained in Early Childhood Education and Nursery Management with the opportunity to enhance their practical skills.
The Camp activities included a number of tours to places of interest around Barbados, participation in craft activities, a “sleepover” phase at one of BDF bases, first aid, and orienteering training.