Monday, 20 September 2021

Cash boost for children's centre pool revamp

CAMP Mohawk has received its first donation towards improvements of its outdoor swimming pool.

CAMP Mohawk has received its first donation towards improvements of its outdoor swimming pool.

The day centre for children with special needs in Highfield Lane, Wargrave, plans to build a retractable dome over the pool, so that it can stay open for longer during the year.

It also wants new changing rooms connected to the pool area, replacing the current ones in a shed.

The charity is preparing a planning application to be submitted to Wokingham Borough Council.

The project could cost up to £250,000 but Camp Mohawk hopes that this figure could be reduced by working with local businesses.

Its first donation of £13,000 came from Twyford support service and construction company Interserve and a cheque presentation took place on Tuesday.

Centre manager Chris Wilcox said: ?The fundamentals of the project are retaining the open-air element of the pool. That?s really important because some of our children struggle with the closed environment of indoor pools ? the noise, echoes and moisture in the air can be a bit much.

?The open-air pool is fantastic for them because they don?t have any of that but it is still warm.

?We want to extend the pool season because currently the pool is only open from May to September. We are planning to have the best of both worlds by keeping it open during a lot more of the year using a retractable or movable dome.

?We also want to build replacement changing rooms so that if it?s pouring with rain it?s all sealed. Ultimately we?d like to keep it running all year because it?s a great pool for children and parents.

?The current pool has been here for more than 20 years and is very popular with the kids. We have swimming sessions for up to 15 kids which are generally full. They love it.

?We also have kids who are going on holiday to the seaside and learning to swim in the pool is a good stepping stone.? The donation from Interserve was approved after the centre was nominated by staff, including asset manager Vicci Jarvis, a Camp Mohawk trustee.

Mr Wilcox said: ?The amount we received blew us away.?

Tony Sanders, Interserve managing director, said: ?Vicci and the team at Twyford suggested Camp Mohawk because it?s near the office and it?s a great charity.

?It?s amazing to have facilities for families and people with disabled children who can come here in a safe environment and be a proper family.

?There aren?t many places where you can bring your brothers and sisters along and all participate in the fun.

?It?s a great charity with really good people running it. You can also see the passion of the staff.?

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