Summer 2021 saw the commencement of a €7 million modernisation project at Aġenzija Sapport’s Mtarfa Day Centre. The project, targeted for completion by 2026, is set to benefit around 100 persons with disability who make use of Aġenzija Sapport’s services offered in this cetre.
TheJournal.mt has learnt that the project will be split into three separate phases, making it possible for the Agency to continnue providing services in different areas of the centre, while the works are ongoing.
The first phase of the project includes the demolition of part of the existing structure to make way for a new block that will provide the premises with space for more resource rooms for the benefit of the service users, extending the current area used by the clients and staff. This phase will cost €2.7 million and is targeted for completion by October 2023.
Another estimated €3.3 million will be required for the second phase of this project, planned for initiation in January 2024. This will entail the modernisation of the current premises, including the renovation of the multi-purpose hall that will offer service users a modern and fully equipped space for drama productions, sports events and other activities.
The footprint of the current premises also includes a sizeable area of woodland overlooking Mdina, offering breath-taking views and possibilities for an outdoor area for the benefit of the service users. The third phase, projected to start in March 2024 with a €1 million budget, will be targeting the landscaping of this surrounding land which will include belvedere patios, parking areas, a multisensory garden, and a fully accessable recreational area.
The final project will encapsulate a new common area for service users, a gymnasium, a fully-equipped multi-sensory unit, an independent living unit, resource rooms and a board room.
TheJournal.mt is informed that all plans have been approved, and designed according to the accessibility guidelines set by the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability. The project also preserves and encorporates the present endemic trees that surround the area.
The aim of the project is to create a state-of-the-art centre which offers clients and employees the proper space for high standard and sustainable service delivery, housing modern equipment with smart and assistive technologies. This new centre will also allow for the development of more inclusive, educational and recreational programmes for persons with disability in a modern, accessible venue that respects their dignity and needs.
Last year, over 540 adults with a disability made use of Aġenzija Sapport’s day services. Despite the pandemic, services were still delivered albeit with a difference in order to safeguard the well-being of people. Programmes were modified to go online where possible, and support was extended to the vulnerable and their families when they could not return to the day centres.
Aġenzija Sapport is offers individual support plans to all service users, developing programmes to improve their skills and enhance their independent living. It also works with other entities to ensure service users and their families get the necessary support for all their social needs.