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A gold standard for Chippenham's hydrotherapy
A hydrotherapy pool at St Nicholas School has won an award and is planning to extend its opening hours.
Designers the London Swimming Pool Company won the Swimming Pool And Allied Trades Association (SPATA) gold award 2013 for special requirements pools, after creating the advanced hydrotherapy pool for the specialist school for children with disabilities. The award was presented in Brighton last month.
The pool opened in September 2011 after seven years of fundraising for the £750,000 needed. This was achieved by SNAP – the St Nicholas appeal for a hydrotherapy pool charity set up by the Rotary Club in Chippenham.
Beverley Crone, fundraising and marketing manager, said: “It was a long slog but we’re really proud of it. It’s used all day every day by our kids, they love it.
“Some are wheelchair bound and it relaxes their muscles and gives them pain relief and fun. It is brilliant for us to see.”
A mechanical hoist enables pool access for the less able-bodied and specially designed steps assist partially sighted users. Sensory music and lights around the pool can be controlled by a floating pad.
A solar panel heating system provides a large amount of the energy required to keep the pool at a constant 34 degrees Celsius.
Now the school is to open the 7m by 6.5m pool to outside groups and individuals, giving more opportunity to make use of it. It is already used by 15 groups, including those for mothers and toddlers and a stroke club.
Mrs Crone said: “It would be good for rehabilitating adults after joint replacements, or for those with fibromyalgia or sports injuries. It’s not too deep, 0.9 to 1.3 metres, and is fully accessible – there’s a sunken walkway.”
The pool already stays open until 6pm one night a week but after the Easter holidays it will open from 3.30-8.30pm every Tuesday and Thursday, and 11am-3.30pm on Sundays and school holidays.
Anyone interested in hiring the pool should contact premises manager Nancy Tucker on (01249) 650435, extension 204.