Barbados TODAY : The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in collaboration with the National Housing Corporation…
HER PASSION for people is noticeable from the outset. Therefore, it was not surprising when she opted to be a beautician and health care professional.
Katrina Alleyne always had “this thing” that a woman should look good and always carry herself well. So, from 13 years old, Trina, as she is known by almost everyone, started plaiting the hair of students n her class at the St Leonard’s Girls Secondary School during their lunch hour.
On leaving school, though she continued plaiting hair, she went on to the O’ Level Institute, where she studied biology, English and social studies. At that time, Trina was living at her grandmother’s house and as the demand for her services grew, she sought to create more space in Gran’s home by shifting her beloved ornaments into one corner. That, of course, did not go down well with gran and created the first signs of tension.
“I was working all the time and accumulating money, so I decided [in 2002] to build a salon next to my grandmother’s house,” she told the MIDWEEK NATION.
For the next eight years, Trina plaited hair at that location. As business grew, so too did her problems, as she was soon told by a relative that she had to pay rent to him for the spot on which she built the salon.
Ironically, she said that the land was not even owned by the individual, who, at the time, was living overseas.
“It started to put a little strain on me so I branched out in 2010 and worked as an assistant to a veterinary surgeon and did hair when I came home.”
Two years later, Trina again had a change of job and joined the Civil Service, where she put her plan to join the health service in motion and did the nursing auxiliary course at the Barbados Community College.
However, in 2014 she was made redundant and started to feel the pressures of not having a job as her mortgage and other bills still had to be paid.
“I had loved my job and I was learning a lot of stuff, so when I heard that I was one to be going, it had me offset.”
She acted quickly and relocated the salon from Bank Hall to Six Roads, St Philip, where she resides, though she continued plaiting hair in the garage.
She also ran a shop for five years before suffering a break-in in 2019 during which several items were stolen. It proved to be a major setback for Trina.
She worked assiduously to get back on her feet and when she did so, she decked out the salon and is going full steam ahead with it.
“I do hair, nails, massages, and the spa reopened last year, which was a birthday gift to myself.”
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Trina said though she took a hit and had to close because of the protocols, her second job made up for the shortfall in income and she was still able to maintain a salary.
The Emerald Park, St Philip resident, who described herself as “multitalented with gifted hands”, said she now works at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital under the Transition Community Care Programme offering services to those in the community.
This is something that the nursing assistant said pleases her immensely as she is big on health care, particularly so after being diagnosed with endometriosis in 2012.
She immediately became an advocate for the condition, and that passion led to her being awarded the Endo Hero Award from Yellow Cape Endometriosis Foundation in 2019.
On receiving the award in the United States (US), Trina said that she was at a loss for words as she did not expect it.
“Though I know that my advocacy and work spoke volumes and my presentation was on point, coming from a Caribbean country, and being its only nominee there in the US, I did not expect to win.”
She worked tirelessly spreading the word about endometriosis in places such as Delaware, Philadelphia and St Vincent.
But Trina is not about all work, and as the sweetest summer festival gets into full swing, she is ready “to vibe the music” after two years of lockdown.
“Crop Over is something that I love and I used to do African dance before, so I love a piece o’ wukking up.”
In relation to her future, she aspires to broaden her knowledge about nursing and take her health care to “higher heights”.
Article originally published : 07/13/2002 Nation News (Midweek Nation)
Written by : John Boyce
Photo by Reco Moore