Shawn Richards (6th left, front row), and PS Osbert DeSuza (7th left, front row) with STEP officials and STEP workers at the Sandy Point Community Centre.
Shawn Richards (6th left, front row), and PS Osbert DeSuza (7th left, front row) with STEP officials and STEP workers at the Sandy Point Community Centre.

Shawn Richards, Deputy Prime Minister and Area Parliamentary Representative for St. Christopher Five, is applauding the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP) Community Enhancement Workers for the tremendous job they are doing in the Sandy Point area.

“No doubt prior to the launch of the STEP and in particular these groups here in Sandy Point, there were areas in Sandy Point that were badly in need of cleaning and beautification,” said the Hon Richards, who is also the Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture. “I am aware that there are certain spots that you have basically adopted and you have taken it up on yourselves to ensure that those spots maintain a particular standard – a particular look.”

The Deputy Prime Minister observed he was aware that quite often when the government is having functions in the Sandy Point area it would call upon the STEP Community Enhancement Workers, sometimes at the very last minute, to render assistance and “you have always risen to the occasion.” 

Richards made the remarks on Thursday March 28 during the opening session of a Soft Skills Training Programme on Conflict Management for STEP Community Enhancement Workers from the different groups in the Sandy Point area, which was held at the Sandy Point Community Centre.

Giving an example of what the STEP Community Enhancement Workers in the Sandy Point area would have done, the Deputy Prime Minister said that when the Sandy Point Community Centre hosted the fourth Team Unity Administration’s Community Consultation on Tuesday March 26, the workers came out and cleaned the community centre and the outside of the community centre.

“That basically says to you that the job that you are doing it is an important one,” said the Deputy Prime Minister. “It is one that we welcome. It is one that the government has made sure that the resources are available so that you can continue to do that job.”

The session on Soft Skills training on Conflict Management was facilitated Dr Neals Chitan, who is an International Social Skills Consultant and Crime Reduction Specialist, and President of Motiv-8 For Change International.

“Today we are doing Conflict Management – we are going to talk about how to manage it and how to resolve it,” Chitan said. “I will be starting with the inner conflict of the individual. So I am going deeper this time because if you have issues with yourself, if you cannot manage your personal conflict then anybody you come in contact with there would be conflicts.”

Chairing the session was STEP Director Wendell Wattley who encouraged the STEP Community Enhancement Workers to put up a more positive attitude towards what they are doing as a negative attitude towards their work would ultimately be reflected negatively in their opportunities.

The Sandy Point-based STEP Community Enhancement Workers were also addressed by Osbert DeSuza, Permanent Secretary in the Office the Prime Minister with responsibility for STEP, who advised them that their hours of work will be extended in line with what other similar groups are doing. 

Present at the opening ceremony were Emile Greene, STEP’s Quality Assurance Coordinator/Consultant; William Phillip, STEP Field Coordinator; Clive Nias, STEP Accountant; Jason McKoy, STEP Field Officer; and Patsy Chitan, Motiv-8 For Change International Administrative Assistant.

The next Soft Skills Training session organised for STEP Community Enhancement Workers will be held on Thursday April 4 at a venue to be announced during the course of the week.