Pool hoist appeal proves a great success

New hoist unveiling at Honiton Swimming Pool. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref mhh 4019-24-13AW. To order

New hoist unveiling at Honiton Swimming Pool. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref mhh 4019-24-13AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.midweekherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24 - Credit: Archant

New specialist hoist unveiled to help local boy Jamie Dyer.

New hoist unveiling at Honiton Swimming Pool. Jamie Dyer puts the new hoist to the test while Connor

New hoist unveiling at Honiton Swimming Pool. Jamie Dyer puts the new hoist to the test while Connor Barrett cuts the ribbon during the official unveiling at Honiton Swimming Pool. They are pictured with June Dyer and Nick Lane of NJ Lane Adaptations Ltd who installed the new equipment. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref mhh 4029-24-13AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.midweekherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24 - Credit: Archant

An overwhelming response from the Honiton community has helped to give local boy Jamie Dyer a special lift to ensure he can continue to make a splash in the swimming pool, writes Katy Griffin.

The ceiling track hoist and disabled changing bench was officially unveiled last Wednesday at Honiton Swimming Pool, which is run by Leisure East Devon (LED) - only eight months after the appeal was launched by the Herald.

Jamie was joined by Connor Barrett, 11, who will also benefit from the new equipment, to test out the new equipment in front of invited guests.

It was installed earlier than expected by local firm NJ Lane Adaptations Ltd.


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Mrs Dyer said: “We want to thank Honiton and everybody who has helped. It has just happened so quickly - people just came together and it means everybody is able to access the pool.”

The appeal was launched back in October after Mrs Dyer feared that her son, who suffers from cerebral palsy, would no longer be able to access the pool without a hoist.

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A sum of £2,000 had been set aside by LED, but a further £2,000 was needed, which was soon raised by individuals and organisations.

Sponsors included Honiton Twirlstars, Honiton United Charities, Honiton Round Table, East Devon District Council, Active Devon and a number of individuals.

Jamie himself even took part in a sponsored swim.

The hoist was donated by the Wakely family from Axmouth, who were keen to donate the unused hoist to the appeal. Mrs Dyer has thanked the family for their donation and making this possible in such a short amount of time.

The equipment can be used by both children and adults and will benefit not only local people but also the wider community.

James Teed, the area manager of Leisure East Devon, said: “As a charitable trust, LED is delighted to be involved in the coordination and implementation towards bringing this project into fruition with the help of many local partners.”

Mrs Dyer told the Herald that Jamie’s health has already benefited as a result of having access to the new equipment.

Stephanie Houghton, occupational therapist with Virgin Care Ltd’s integrated children’s services Devon, who has supported both Jamie and Connor for eight years, added: “I’m so pleased to see that LED have shown an interest in my recommendations for the needs of disabled people by undertaking the necessary building work and installation of the new equipment.

“It will take unnecessary stress and pressure off the parents and carers bringing Jamie and Connor for swimming sessions. Swimming is highly important for these boys as it is the only sport which benefits them in so many different ways.

“I really hope other children and adults with physical disabilities will come to swim at Honiton Swimming Pool. The response from the boys and their parents really speaks for itself.”

Jamie says he is looking forward to using the equipment and going swimming more often.

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