HSBC donates gym equipment to Sannat School Special Unit
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The HSBC Foundation recently donated €15,000 worth of equipment to the gym at the Special Unit of the Sannat School in Gozo. The donation was presented to the school’s Headmaster Saviour Portelli by Jay Green, wife of HSBC Group Chairman Stephen Green who was on a three-day official visit in Malta.
There are some 20 children with disability at the Special Unit. Another 30 children, between the age of 3 and 25, come from other schools in Gozo to receive special care from the specialised staff at the Unit. These children may suffer from physical, emotional, sensorial or intellectual disabilities.
The equipment donated includes a tilting table which helps children carry out exercises, a bobath plinth treatment table for physio and occupational therapy sessions; an interactive whiteboard and projector for students with difficulties in using a pen.
Care for children in challenging circumstances has always been at the core of HSBC’s corporate social responsibility, so much so that the first Fund HSBC founded in Malta was the one for children in 2000. Since inception of the HSBC Cares for Children Fund, HSBC pledged almost €2 million in donations and assistance for programmes to help children.
Mrs Green, accompanied by Mrs Kate Gonzi, Chairperson of the HSBC Foundation, said, “As a mother, I know how precious every day of learning – every new discovery – and every exciting experience – is in a child’s development. That is why I am especially pleased to present, on behalf of HSBC, this gym equipment which will contribute to the physical development – and the wider well being – of the 50 students who come to the Unit to receive special care. The reason the HSBC Group focuses mainly on education is because HSBC believes knowledge is fundamental to building and developing strong communities. And there is no better way to supporting the future than by supporting our children.”
Gozo Minister Giovanna Debono stressed the importance Government gives to inclusive education that aims to build on the individual’s abilities rather than on disability. She highlighted the Ministry for Gozo’s commitment towards ensuring access and modernisation of facilities in all schools in Gozo while specially mentioning the works undertaken in recent months to upgrade the hall, sanitary facilities and other areas at the Sannat school.
“The Ministry for Gozo has collaborated with the school administration and other philanthropic organisations in order to provide appropriate facilities to cater for the various needs of the students. This included the installation of a hydraulic lifter at the back of the stage,” said the Minister.
On thanking HSBC for its ongoing support to develop the school facilities to suit the special needs of children at the Sannat School Special Unit, Mr Portelli said this kind of investment would not be possible without the intervention of private enterprise. “HSBC’s collaboration goes back many years and they have worked with us to support children in need,” he said.
Photo shows: From left, Paul Curmi, HSBC Area Director for Gozo; Gozo Minister Giovanna Debono; Jay Green, wife of HSBC Group Chairman Stephen Green who is looking on; and Mrs Catherine Gonzi, Chairperson of the HSBC Foundation.