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Breakspeare School's changing room changes hailed a great success
A school in Abbots Langley has unveiled its newly refurbished swimming pool changing rooms which are designed to be user friendly for their pupils who use wheelchairs.
Breakspeare School in Gallows Hill Lane is a school for children aged two to 19-years-old with severe and profound learning difficulties and a third of their pupils use wheelchairs.
To complement the current hydrotherapy swimming pool, the changing rooms have been refurbished after 21 years, replacing the shower cubicles and have been made wheelchair accessible.
The project, which cost approximately £30,000, also includes a ceiling hoist which has been installed to ensure pupils can be moved directly from the changing area into the swimming pool without the need for multiple lifts in and out of their wheelchairs.
They can now be directly put onto a changing bed and placed into the pool.
Headteacher Gill Williamson said: "We are really pleased with our new facilities and our pupils are really benefiting from the new changing rooms which needed a makeover and now enable our pupils to have dignified privacy.
"We have a third of pupils here who are using wheelchairs and before we were only able to put four children in the pool. However the ceiling hoist has meant we are now able to put five children in the pool who are using wheelchairs for their lessons.
"It has made it more manageable for staff here and easier for the children to get in and out of the pool."
The project which began last year was made possible by donations from Hilton Hotel Group, Hertfordshire County Council local members budget, Dyers Trust, Abbots Langley Tough Ten Committee, Rotary Club and Barclays Bank as well as fundraising by parents and staff of children at the school.
June Wilkinson, who has an 18-year-old son, Ryan, who goes to the school and is a wheelchair user, said the new facilities has made it a “more pleasant experience” for the children.
June, also treasurer at the school, said: "Before, transporting children into the pool was not a great experience and took a great deal of time.
"We would like to thank all of the people and organisations that have made donations to this important project. It has been a great team effort."