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Gloucestershire Business News

New equipment is a game changer for the disabled

People with disabilities will be able to enjoy the pool at Cotswold Leisure Cirencester much more easily thanks to the installation of new equipment.

It includes a powered transfer hoist, an adjustable changing bed, a 'ranger' chair to transport swimmers to the poolside, and a pool hoist to lift the chair in and out of the water.

Funding for the £12,000 equipment was provided by a grant from Cirencester SCOPE (a small independent charity affiliated to the National SCOPE organisation), financial support from Cotswold District Council and through the fund raising efforts of Denise Martin who undertook a range of sponsored activities.

Cllr Stephen Hirst, Cabinet Member for Health and Leisure at Cotswold District Council, attended a special ceremony to celebrate the launch of the equipment and was full of praise for the project.

He said: "Everyone knows that swimming is a great way to exercise and have fun, but people with disabilities are often unable to share the experience with abled bodied friends and family members because most local pools are not equipped for their needs.

"This new equipment is a game changer, and I hope that this will encourage a big increase in take-up from those who previously felt excluded."

These thoughts were echoed by Barbara Banks, Chairman of Cirencester SCOPE, who added:

"This equipment makes such a difference to the swimming experience for people of all ages with special needs. It's been fantastic to play a part in bringing these new facilities to Cirencester, and I am sure that it will lead to increased use from a much more diverse range of customers."

Fund raiser Denise Martin said: "It's great to see this project finally become a reality. We now have a fantastic accessible facility for all swimmers to enjoy the water along with family and friends."

Pictured left to right, Sam Clarke (Cotswold Leisure Cirencester), Barbara Banks (chair, Cirencester Scope), Denise Martin, Heather Phillips (Cirencester Scope), Martin Holland (Leisure Services Manager, Cotswold District Council), Doreen Newman (Treasurer, Cirencester Scope) and Cllr Stephen Hirst.

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