Hemel Hempstead school pool plan aims to beat pupils’ blues

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A campaign to replace a crumbling school hydrotherapy pool that is no longer fit for purpose is under way.

Pupils with severe learning difficulties at Woodfield School in Leverstock Green currently have limited access to the pool – which is warmed to 35 degrees to help with the children’s varying and complex needs – because of its poor filtration system.

Hydrotherapy sessions at Woodfield School pool.

Hydrotherapy sessions at Woodfield School pool.

Water-based physiotherapy sessions are often cut short due to tiny falling pieces of debris from the pool’s covering, and while the warmth of the water is to prevent pupils from turning blue with cold, they are sometimes left with blue feet from the flaking paint.

School governor Susan Donnelly is mum to 13-year-old Richard, who has a chromosome disorder and is unable to walk. She said: “Richard has come on leaps and bounds since being here. The pool is a major part of his physiotherapy and it gives him an independence he doesn’t normally have.”

Plans for the new development would allow easier and safer pool access with use of a tracking system, and would also include a sports hall, gym and dance studio. It is hoped a huge fundraising drive and securing grants from sporting and lottery funds will help raise the estimated £1.3million needed.

Headteacher Gill Waceba said: “This is very important in order to meet the needs of all children. It is blue sky thinking, but it is achievable.”

Click here to sponsor the WASP team and the new hydrotherapy pool.