New Pool Equipment Welcomed by Students

Student testing out the new pool pod in his wheelchair

Published Friday, 10 February 2017

STUDENTS from Hinckley's Dorothy Goodman School have welcomed a new piece of equipment at Hinckley Leisure Centre to help disabled customers and those with mobility issues.

The new Pool Pod, which cost £16,000, offers customers a new, independent means of getting into the water.  

Previously, customers used a hoist operated by a carer or member of staff, but now customers can opt to operate the pod independently by means of a wrist band available from reception. Customers can either stand on the platform or use the specially-designed submersible wheelchair, which then lowers gently into the water. 

The pod was installed at Hinckley's new £15m leisure centre in January and has already proved popular with Dorothy Goodman students, who swim there every week.

14-year-old Dorothy Goodman student Mayan said: "It was a great way to get into the pool, I liked how it helped my friends in wheelchairs get in and out without needing lots of help from the teachers. It was also fun to be lowered into the pool."

Janet Thompson, Head teacher at Dorothy Goodman, added: "The pod is a great addition to the facilities at Hinckley Leisure Centre as it enables our young people to enter and leave the pool with dignity and ease. 

"Sometimes it can take several staff members to lower a student into the pool from their wheelchair. The pod makes the transition into the pool easy, allowing our young people to spend more time doing what they love, swimming."

Gary Healy, the Swim Development Manager from Places for People Leisure, said: “We are so lucky to have this new piece of equipment in our pool. It is a great support for our customers including those with a disability, reduced mobility and even encourages our ageing population and pregnant women to feel safer accessing the pool.”

As well as the Pool Pod, the new centre already boasts a number of accessible changing rooms and showering facilities.