Money raised through local housing developments has helped to pay for the refurbishment of a swimming pool and creation of new fully-accessible changing facilities in a specialist Alton school for disabled children and young people.
East Hampshire District Council granted £190,000 of developers’ contributions to Treloar’s College to make essential changes to their pool. We also awarded further £25,000 towards the project through our Supporting Communities Fund.
The swimming pool was in desperate need of refurbishment as the increasing complexity of Treloar’s students’ disabilities meant the number who could use the pool for swimming and hydrotherapy was dramatically reducing.
Through a successful appeal the charity raised an incredible £500,000, which has increased the capacity of the pool by 60 per cent and brought the joy of swimming to many more students on a regular basis.
The majority of EHDC’s contribution was drawn from a fund called the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). For every new home built, a developer pays an agreed fee to go towards local infrastructure projects, such as these.
A further £100,000 was donated by The Gosling Foundation, a national grant-making organisation.
These funds enabled the charity to make the following changes to the pool:
· Adding five new changing rooms with direct tracked hoists to the pool
· Reducing the depth of the pool at the deep end to allow more students to be supported in the water by their carer
· Improving ventilation to reduce fatigue
· Re-tiling the pool to help the visual needs of students
These changes provide significant health and wellbeing benefits to students, local families who use the swimming pool for lessons and disability charities who use the facilities during the holidays.
It was opened on Saturday 18 February by Suzanna Hext, a patron of Treloar’s and a paralympic swimmer (pictured right).
Freya Chart, Treloar’s PE and Swim Teacher, said: “Our student Ella has developed so well in swimming over the last six weeks; she has grown in confidence and is moving around the whole pool now that she realises the depth and that the whole pool is more accessible to her. Ella started her half term of swimming very apprehensive and reliant on Student Support Assistant support; through working with us to find her comfortable floatation, she can now move independently through the water and last week managed an amazing four lengths of the pool on her own. All while shouting: “I’m going to do it again and again!”
Councillor Graham Hill, EHDC and Town Councillor for Holybourne, said: “Treloar’s is the largest specialist disabled centre of its kind in the UK, supporting around 170 young people on its campus in Holybourne.
“I am so pleased that EHDC has awarded Treloar’s with a grant of £190,000 from the Community Infrastructure Levy for such a worthwhile project. We look forward to Treloar’s applying to EHDC for further funding on more projects.”
Gill Kneller, EHDC CEO, said: "It was great to attend the official opening to see what a difference the improvements have made to the students, the smiles on their faces as they had fun in the pool said it all."
Peter Caplan, a Trustee of The Gosling Foundation, said: “The Gosling Foundation are delighted to have been able to award Treloar’s with a £100,000 grant towards their swimming pool redevelopment project. The fact that the refurbished pool now almost doubles the number of young disabled people who can use it each week, together with the many benefits and enjoyment that swimming and hydrotherapy bring were key factors in our decision.”