New swimming pool facilities improves access

HAPPY Holly Styles in the pool hoist with her parents Gail and Mike

HAPPY Holly Styles in the pool hoist with her parents Gail and Mike

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A leisure centre in Havant has transformed swimming pool facilities for people with additional needs.

Horizon successfully applied for funding from The Brucewake Trust, which funded half of the £8,000 cost for a new hoist.

The hoist enables people to easily get in and out of the pool. It has its own chair so the user’s chair doesn’t get wet and it is run on an electronic system so it can move them smoothly from the pool side into the pool and vice versa.

Holly Styles has physical and learning disabilities, which means that she needs extra help when accessing the pool and she was the first person to use the pool hoist.

It was her parents who encouraged and advised Havant Leisure Centre to buy a hoist, as the pool was difficult to use without it and they provided the information about funding.

Gail Styles said: ‘The new hoist takes the weight off so she has freedom in the pool. It’s great. Swimming is one of Holly’s favourite things to do.’

Aaron Comley, manager at Sea Breeze Residential Home in Hayling Island, said: ‘Before we were limited by travel time as we could only go swimming in Portsmouth However now we are able to come to Havant it is much easier for Holly and all our other residents.’

Horizon Leisure Centres hopes the new hoist alongside the changing rooms will mean that many more additional needs users and their family will be able to access the pool.

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