School’s £900,000 swim pool boost

NRHN 17-09-12 BE 7 Alfreton park community school children celebrate getting funds for new swimming pool.
NRHN 17-09-12 BE 7 Alfreton park community school children celebrate getting funds for new swimming pool.

Alfreton Park Community Special School is celebrating after receiving a £900,000 county council boost to build a new hydrotherapy pool.

The school raised £23,000 in just over a year with its Raise the Roof campaign to replace the roof of the pool, which was built in 1977, after losing out on a Building Schools for the Future grant in 2010.

The cash is part of £5,575,000 earmarked by Derbyshire County Council (DCC) for school works which also include the replacement of North Wingfield Primary School and Aldercar Community Language College.

Associate head teacher Cheryl Smart said: “We worked very hard raising money and we really appreciate the support from the local community. Lots of people have helped us. We are thrilled to have this money which means we will be able to buy a new pool rather than refurbish something which is not really adequate.”

The school says it will continue to raise funds because the council grant will only provide a basic hydrotherapy/ warm water pool and they would like to raise money for extras like lighting and music to create a nice atmosphere for the youngsters.

The council have also pledged £150,000 to improve classroom space. The school has 68 pupils, aged between two and 19, with a variety of complex learning needs and disabilities.

The pool is not only used for swimming but for physio, sensory relaxation and aqua-robics, and is an extension of the classroom where literacy and numeracy are taught. Parent and toddler groups also meet four times a week to enjoy the facilities, while Leonard Cheshire Green Gables and other adult disability services use it on a weekly basis.

The school’s Raise the Roof campaign raised the money with concerts, sponsored walks and sponsored pub crawls.

So many people benefit from our facilities, but the entire building is very tired and shabby.