Katy Griffin, Reporter
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Help needed to purchase specialist hoist system.
A Honiton mum fears her disabled son, who has been inspired by the Paralympics, will no longer be able to access the town’s swimming pool - unless a specialist hoist system is installed.
June Dyer, 47, hopes funding can be found to purchase a ceiling track hoist at Honiton Leisure Centre to help her son Jamie, who suffers from cerebral palsy.
Leisure East Devon is keen to provide the specialist equipment, but is short of the required cash outlay.
It says it is doing everything it can to source additional funding.
A sum of £2,000 has been set aside, but a further £2,000 is likely to be needed.
Nine-year-old Jamie, a Honiton Primary School pupil, regularly attends the pool with his school where he receives physiotherapy treatment.
“As he is getting bigger, it is going to get harder to access the swimming pool,” says Mrs Dyer. “It is getting to the stage where he is too heavy to manually lift from his wheelchair into the poolside chair before he is lowered by the existing hoist into the pool.
“Very soon he is not going to be able to go swimming due to health and safety regulations as people won’t be able to transfer him from his wheelchair.” Mrs Dyer says she would like to see the ceiling track hoist put in the changing rooms, along with a changing bench in the disabled changing room.
She added: “Swimming is an important part of his physiotherapy. His mobility is going to suffer if he cannot use the swimming pool.”
Mrs Dyer has been in contact with the leisure centre and has also contacted local MP Neil Parish. She said: “He is just starting to get rid of his armbands.
“He loves swimming and is keen to be a sportsman – he loves trying to be an Olympic swimmer.”
Mrs Dyer would like to hear from others who would benefit from the equipment.
A spokesman for Leisure East Devon (LED), which runs the swimming pool, said: “LED fully appreciates the difficulties experienced by Jamie and his support team.
“We have committed £2,000 towards the purchase of the equipment and we will continue to pursue additional funding from partners.”
If you know a funding source that could help LED, a not-for-profit trust, provide the equipment, contact the Midweek Herald on 01392 888485.