Lloyds bank donates £3,000 cash boost to therapeutic pool in Stratton

Swindon Advertiser: Laura Whitby, James Wolford (one of the Trustees of the Pool), Hannah Aleti Buy this photo » Laura Whitby, James Wolford (one of the Trustees of the Pool), Hannah Aleti

DEVOTED staff at a therapeutic pool in Stratton have received an early Christmas present in the form of a £3,000 cash boost from Lloyds Bank’s community fund.

The award has placed Thamesdown Hydrotherapy Pool a big step closer to raising the £42,000 needed to carry out urgent repairs to the ceiling in its changing rooms.

The centre, the only one owned and managed by a charity in the UK, caters to residents with life-long physical disabilities or people going through a period of rehabilitation after an injury.

Just 12 months ago, a remarkable £135,000 was secured to replace the pool’s defective ventilation which had cause moisture to seep into and spread across the changing room ceilings. With the new system now in place, the team is now determined to fix the damp damage in the custom-built Len Lee Suite.

Thanks to the £3,000, staff have now reached the half-way fundraising mark but still have their work cut out to collect a further £21,000.

Assistant manager Jan Platt, who has been working at the pool since it opened 34 years ago, said: “£3,000 is exceptional and we are very grateful for it. It would have taken us quite a long time to raise.

“The rain is now actually coming in because of the damage to the skins inside the ceiling. We have now raised approximately half of what we need.”

The warm water pool and jacuzzi are designed to ease painful conditions such as arthritis, stimulate blood circulation, relieve people suffering back pain or help build up strength following joint replacement surgery, for example. A hoist system allows users to be lifted from the changing rooms and into the pool.

The pool, which opened its doors in 1979, welcomes 700 users on average every week.

Each year, the four-strong staff team have to secure between £39,000 and £45,000 to cover running costs. Although they could easily increase the users’ fees, they have chosen against it to ensure people with limited means can afford their treatment. I’m very proud we are still actually open,” she added. “We have had a couple of difficult years and we just got through them by the skin of our teeth.

“But we have a responsibility to try and keep fees down as much as possible and we only charge individuals pay £6 and groups £28 per hour. It would be a really big loss to the people who are using it if we couldn’t continue this work.”

To make a donation to Thamesdown Hydrotherapy Pool call 01793 496002 or visit www.thamesdownhydrotherapypool.com

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