Official opening of the swimming pool
The official opening of Treloar’s refurbished swimming pool took place on 21st February. Suzanna Hext, Treloar’s Patron, Paralympic swimmer and accomplished equestrian, joined the guests, including funders, supporters, staff and students to officially open the pool.
The main highlight for everyone was seeing students use the fully refurbished pool and listening to the Swim Team’s talk about the positive impact the new pool and changing rooms are having on Treloar’s students. As part of the opening ceremony, Suzanna, who is also an Ambassador for the School’s Team Water, joined students for a number of swimming sessions throughout the day. We’re extremely grateful to Suzanna for opening the pool and spending time with our students.
“I love the time I spend here,” said Suzanna. She has first-hand knowledge of the huge benefits of being in the water, and during the swimming session, she played water games and completed lengths of the pool.
In 2021, the swimming pool was in desperate need of refurbishment. The increasing complexity of our students’ disabilities meant that the number who could use the pool for swimming and hydrotherapy was dramatically reducing. Sadly, it is also extremely challenging, and sometimes impossible, for the students to visit a public pool because changing and hoisting facilities are not suitable for their complex needs.
Through the appeal, and thanks to generous donations from Treloar’s supporters, the charity raised an incredible £500,000 which has increased the capacity of the pool by 60% and brought the joy of swimming to many more students on a regular basis. Treloar’s is grateful to everyone who has supported this appeal, in particular to East Hampshire District Council who awarded the project £190,000 through the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), and to The Gosling Foundation for a £100,000 grant. Treloar’s is one of the first CIL projects to be completed.
These funds enabled the charity to make the following essential 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 our students, local families who use the swimming pool for lessons and disability charities who use the facilities during the holidays. Luna, Treloar School student, said:
I like the new pool; it’s warm in the water and feels good to be out of my chair. I go in the pool every week, and it’s definitely better now.
Freya Chart, Treloar’s PE and Swim Teacher, commented on how the new pool has improved the quality and experience of swimming lessons:
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 lenghts of the pool on her own. All while shouting: “I’m going to do it again and again!
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.
The difference you make
Thanks to the support of brilliant people and organisations, Treloar School and College has helped thousands of young disabled people for more than 115 years take more control over their lives and given them an education and a future.
Follow this link to find some examples of how your support has made a difference—thank you! We couldn’t do any of this without you!