Jamaica Observer / OCHO RIOS, St Ann — In a true labour of love, more than 200 managers and team members from Sandals Resorts participated in community, environment and education-related activities — the three pillars of the Sandals Foundation — on Wednesday, Labour Day. The Ocho Rios Health Centre, Industry Cove Basic School and Johns Hall Primary School were the major beneficiaries of the company’s commitment to making a difference in the society.
Teams from the four regions — Whitehouse on the South Coast, Negril, Montego Bay and St Ann/St Mary participated in the activities, while team members were drawn from Sandals, Beaches, Royal Plantation, and Grand Pineapple resorts.
In St Ann St Mary, more than team members drawn from the three properties in the region as well as Sandals Golf and Country Club, with aid from Hardware and Lumber Rapid True Value, assisted in giving a much needed facelift to the Ocho Rios Health Centre.
The team headed by general managers Brian Roper of Beaches Ocho Rios, Ramel Sobrino of Sandals Ochi and Koen Hietbrink, Sandals Royal Plantation, painted the entire building, installed bathroom fixtures, and performed extensive landscaping on the grounds of the property.
Roper said the upgrading of the Ocho Rios Health Centre reinforced the company’s commitment to improving the health sector.
“… Being here today is to show the people of this region that we care about our institutions and always stand ready to assist,” Roper said Wednesday.
Nadia Nunes of the North East Regional Health Authority praised the Sandals group for the outstanding work at the health centre. “We are really amazed at the transformation, and staff and patients will greatly appreciate what Sandals has done,” she noted.
In the Negril region, buses and vans filled with construction material and more than 50 eager volunteers from Sandals, Beaches and Grand Pineapple resorts journeyed to Industry Cove Basic School in Hanover for their Labour Day project.
Volunteers dedicated an entire day correcting major defects highlighted in the schools recent audit report completed by the Early Childhood Commission. The building’s outer walls, playground equipment, classrooms, bathroom and the lunch room were painted. Much needed electrical work was done in all rooms, rotting doors were replaced, and plumbing faults corrected in the bathrooms. Landscaping work was also done on the school grounds.
In the Montego Bay region, in keeping with the Labour Day 2018 theme ‘Fix It! Ramp It Up’, some 50 team members of Sandals Resorts renovated a ramp at the John’s All Primary School in rural St James, thus making it easier for physically challenged students at the school. Led by members of the resorts’ maintenance departments, the Sandals volunteers extended the ramp, paved it and made it more accessible for users.
The volunteers also painted all classrooms and the entire exterior of the school building, which houses more than 300 students. They also did landscaping and de-bushing to beautify the school grounds.
Principal of John’s Hall Primary Maxine Tugwell-Brown said the school was in need of some beautification work while work was needed on the ramp.
“We have a physically-challenged student and the ramp will help to get her from point A to point B, and it will really make it easier if we get more physically challenged students in the future. We are really thankful that we were chosen by Sandals for Labour Day project this year. We appreciate the facelift,” Tugwell-Brown said.