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Pool pods in position at Sir James Altham and William Penn Leisure Centre

18th March 2015

When the Olympic Delivery Authority for London 2012 could not find a pool lift to assist those with a disability or mobility issue to enter and exit a swimming pool that satisfied their exacting requirements for functionality and accessibility, they launched an international search to find the right design. 

The Pool pod pool platform lift was installed into the London Aquatics Centre at the Olympic Park for the Paralympics and was one of the first pools in Britain to have this facility, but now as a result of funding received from Herts County Council Public Health Department this innovative lift has now been installed at Sir James Altham and William Penn Leisure Centre and offers swimmers with a disability or mobility issue a more dignified way of entering the water than the traditional hoist.

pool-pod-with-councillors.jpgChairman of Three Rivers District Council Councillor Chris Lloyd said “We are pleased to see this provision at our swimming pools. It has transformed pool access for those residents with a disability or who struggle to get in and out of a swimming pool, elderly people, pregnant ladies or those with limited mobility. I hope it encourages more people to be able to use the pools.”

Councillor Ann Shaw,Leader of the Council explained that any swimmer who finds using a pool ladder inappropriate can use the Poolpod simply, easily and quickly enabling the user to enter and leave a pool with the minimum of assistance.  

Support Worker at Walsingham Charlotte Burns with first hand experience said, “The Poolpod at the William Penn Leisure Centre is an excellent piece of equipment that helped me get the individual I support in and out of the pool with ease. I found the submersible wheelchair to be safer than the pool hoists that were previously in use as it has a belt and a surrounded platform.”

Scott Beattie, General Manager of William Penn Leisure Centre commented, ‘The PoolPod has not only allowed users to access and exit the pool with considerably more ease, it has also resulted in increased independence for swimmers with access and exit issues, and removes the need for manual handling of the old pool hoist.  Our Herts Active Together swimming sessions on Wednesdays and Friday mornings are in place to encourage those over the age of 65 and not regularly active to use the pool, and the PoolPod will allow those with limited mobility to do so easily, so removes one barrier to inactivity for this age group.