The following article is taken from the New Forest District Council website. The pool lift was supplied by Dolphin Mobility.
DISABLED swimmers are making waves at Ringwood Health and Leisure Centre with the introduction of a new pool lift.
Swimmers who found difficulty accessing the pool using the old-style hoist are delighted with the £5,000 Italian-imported equipment which has now been installed.
New Forest District Council purchased the BluOne portable pool lift, only recently available in Britain, in a bid to encourage more disabled people to take the plunge at their swimming pools.
"We were aware that the old-style hoist was not liked as disabled swimmers had to be strapped in. Some people didn't like asking for help as two members of the pool staff had to manage the equipment," said NFDC's Portfolio Holder for Employment, Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Maureen Holding.
"We want more disabled people to enjoy the benefits of swimming and have invested in this modern, lightweight and easy-to-use pool lift with great success.
"Swimming gives better health and mobility to disabled people and therefore it is very important for them to participate in this activity," said Cllr Holding.
Now only one staff member is needed to operate the lift and disabled users can be gently lowered into the water where they can easily slide off the seat and enjoy a swim.
Joan Cundill, a disabled swimmer, was invited to the Ringwood centre to try out the equipment.
She said afterwards: "The new hoist is a great improvement on the old one, both for the passenger and poolside staff."
NFDC Equalities Officer Helena Renwick would like feedback from swimmers now using the pool lift.
"If people tell us they like it, we can put it in other centres," she said.
Helena can be contacted on 023 8028 5560 or by email email@example.com