PFM 21 3 - Page 20



cover story
NEWS
Altro Walls System Helps Open Up a Stimulating
New Sensory World for Children
A
hydrotherapy pool for children and young people with
significant physical and learning difficulties has been transformed
using specialist products from Altro,
opening up a stimulating new world
of sensory fun and excitement with
no compromise on safety or hygiene.
Vranch House is a centre for the treatment of over 2,000 outpatients with
physical difficulties, a provider of various therapies throughout Devon and an
independent Day School in Exeter for
children aged 2 to 12 with significant
physical difficulties.
Hydrotherapy has always been on the
agenda at Vranch House, but this vital
treatment has recently been given a
new lease of life with a completely refurbished state-of-the-art indoor heated
swimming pool, including Altro Whiterock™ hygienic wall sheet.
Architect Carole Trim carried out the
redesign of the new facility and, for her,
20
it was a challenge with love. “For pupils
at Vranch House, the hydrotherapy pool
is an area of escape and pleasure,
where
they
experience
greater
freedoms in the water and so more
balanced in their movement,” says Carole.
“It also enables staff to give one-to-one
therapy, where they can be very tactile,
build trust and so help the pupils to
become more mobile. It’s an integral
part of the education at Vranch House
and has huge emotional and physical
benefits.
“Before the refurbishment, the hydrotherapy pool was an impractical solution
– expensive to heat, difficult to maintain,
too hot in summer and too cold in winter. When the potential funding became
available for the refurbishment, I was
delighted to talk with the charity about
how we could all work together to make
the pool a more exciting space for pupils
and staff, and a facility that would meet
its full potential.
“The primary aim was to create a fun,
colourful, stimulating and enjoyable
space that would deliver a fantastic sensory experience; somewhere pupils
would look forward to being, and where
staff could really take the time to work
with the children in an environment purpose-built for their needs.
“The walling choices were integral to
this vision. Altro was a key partner on
the project because they were sympathetic to the broader picture and what
we wanted to achieve for the children.
Their level of experience and understanding helped us to find a solution that
delivered across the board; on quality,
safety, aesthetics and durability.
“Therapy sessions in the pool use a
combination of light and sound to open
up the sensory world for pupils, and we
wanted the walls in the pool to work

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