Residents at a home for the physically and mentally challenged are reaping the rewards of repairs to their St John’s premises thanks to the efforts of some visiting British soldiers.
Crew aboard the Royal Navy ship HMS Medway – stationed in the Caribbean for the Atlantic hurricane season – recently took time out from duties to lend a hand at the Care Project.
The commandos visited Antigua earlier this month and also took part in the country’s Independence celebrations.
The work carried out in sync with the British High Commission included roof repairs – with the team donating both materials and labour – a new safety door and a new water tank.
Sandy Daniel, operations manager of the Care Project based at the former Holberton Hospital, thanked the High Commission, the Cumbria Army Cadet Corps and the Crisis Respond Troop 59 Squadron for their support.
She told Observer the work had been executed with military precision and speed.
“We had earmarked three days but they did it in two. We were surprised they got it done in a shorter time than planned,” she said.
The Care Project provides round the clock care for people with a variety of challenges including developmental delays, autism and cerebral palsy. It currently looks after 11 young residents and employs 36 staff.
Resident British Commissioner Lindsy Thompson visited the compound yesterday to get a first-hand glimpse of the completed works.
“The commandos and water tank were from HMS Medway – the ship that many people see docked in St John’s regularly,” she explained.
Thompson said the ship’s crew frequently assist with training of local Defence Force personnel and that the Commission had been pleased to extend a helping hand to the nation’s young people too.
A new purpose-built facility is being created adjacent to the Care Project’s current premises and health officials hope residents will be able to move in next year.