New swimming pool to benefit those with autism

Autism Together staff Marie Bower, Support Worker (left) and Mike Storms, Activity Leader, will lead and support swimmers during sessions at the new sensory pool.

A MERSEYSIDE charity has opened a new sensory swimming pool for use by those with autism.

The pool, owned and run by Autism Together, will be used by a wide range of people on the autism spectrum who access the organisation’s services.

Funded by donations worth more than £61,000, including £30,000 from Sport England, the charity invited the Mayor and Mayoress of Wirral, to officially open the fully-refurbished facilities at Raby Hall in Bromborough, Wirral.

Along with modernised changing areas, designed to make people with autism feel as comfortable as possible, a sensory suite, generously donated by the Williams Family Foundation, has been installed in the pool area itself.

Terry Usher, Head of Autism Together’s Community and Vocational Services, said: “The sensory suite allows swimmers to choose ambient sounds or their favourite songs, alter the lighting levels and even change the colour of the light to suit their mood.

“People with autism can be very sensitive to light and sound, so we have given them the opportunity to shape their own experience while using the pool.

“Swimming is a very calming exercise for those with autism, offering many positive benefits in terms of health and wellbeing.

“We anticipate swimmers will access the pool up to 30,000 times every year, so it really is a vital part of the service we offer.”