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Hopes high for Sherborne hydrotherapy pool to help pain relief

By Western Gazette - Sherborne  |  Posted: November 17, 2012

Valerie Marett

STEP CLOSER: Valerie Marett, Mervyn Smith, Matt Nelson, assistant bursar for Sherborne Girls’ School, and Phyllis Kristiansen hope a new hydrotherapy pool might be built at the Oxley Sports Centre

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Plans to build a hydrotherapy pool to help those suffering with muscle pains and afflictions could be a step closer to fruition.

Since 2007, Sherborne Over-50s group has campaigned to have the specialist pool installed at Oxley Sports Centre.

Now Oliver Letwin, MP for West Dorset, has taken part in talks with Dorset County Council and the parties involved in the hope that the project can be launched.

Member Phyllis Kristiansen heard about the benefits of a pool to those suffering with arthritis, sports injuries and other muscular ailments from former Sherborne councillor Keith Batten.

Mrs Kristiansen, 85, of Sherborne, said: “I carried out a survey in the town and between 80 and 100 people supported the idea.

“Doctors from the area thought it should be introduced.”

The pools are set at 33 degrees and the warm water helps gently loosen and exercise muscles and help with pain relief.

Charities such as Arthritis Care recommend the treatment.

Mrs Kristiansen: “I believe people want to help themselves without going to the doctors and taking pills.

“This is a healthier alternative to strong medication and it has proven popular.

“I’ve lived in Sherborne for more than 20 years but when I moved from Canada people were already using them there. It might not cure the symptoms but it might help with relaxation and flexibility in the limbs and joints.”

Pools are already installed in Yeovil, Stuminster Newton and Axminster but Mrs Kristiansen, who suffers from scleroderma, a disease of the connected tissues, said one is needed in Sherborne.

She said: “Here many are unable to travel far and cannot drive so it would be most beneficial to have one nearby which they can regularly attend.

“It may come at a cost but I think it’s a very important treatment.”

Mervyn Smith, chairman of Sherborne Over 50s group, said: “We are very grateful for Mr Letwin’s help in this project and we feel things are moving along positively.

“We are now gathering more facts and figures for another meeting in the near future.”

Oliver Letwin said: “I think we may now be beginning to move in the right direction.”

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