Children with disabilities enjoy occupational therapy and hydrotherapy in a fun environment through our donation.

Waterwings is a fully accessible swimming club that provides occupational therapy for children with physical and learning disabilities. It also offers hydrotherapy.

The Axis Foundation’s donation of £3,600 will pay for the use of the school pool, a lifeguard cover and a hydrotherapy trained physiotherapist for a year.

Waterwings’ children have a range of disabilities: Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, heart problems, developmental delay, Downs Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy, learning disabilities or autism.

Whilst some children can walk with support and others are wheelchair dependent, they all have difficulty in getting into the water and need assistance or hoisting. Local facilities are in the main unsuitable and, importantly, unsafe, because of overcrowding, lack of hoists and the pools’ temperature.

It is well documented that children with physical disabilities benefit from regular targeted occupational therapy. Hydrotherapy (no longer available through the NHS) helps with bone and muscle development. It also provides relief from muscle spasm and teaches patterns of movement that are vital for posture, sitting, standing and walking.

Waterwings is the only swimming club in St Leonards on Sea that provides fully accessible swimming lessons, occupational therapy and hydrotherapy. Sessions take place at St Mary’s School, Bexhill where the school pool is specifically designed for children with special needs. It has a hoist, changing areas for children with physical disabilities and accessible car parking for carers and parents.

Tracy Smith, Fundraiser, commented:
“This funding is essential for the running of Waterwings. Without it we would not be able to provide vital, life enhancing therapy and play for these wonderful children. This type of facility is not available anywhere else locally and we thank Axis Foundation so much for helping us to ensure it continues.”