Access Committee member Luke Clibborn and hoist-trained lifesaver Nick Blanksby at the Lismore Memorial Baths try out the new pool hoist.
Access Committee member Luke Clibborn and hoist-trained lifesaver Nick Blanksby at the Lismore Memorial Baths try out the new pool hoist. Melissa Gulbin

Local pool receives a cool new addition

THE INJUSTICE of not being able to access the local pool on a scorching hot day was enough to fire up Lismore's Luke Clibborn.

A member of Lismore's Access Committee who has quadriplegia, Mr Clibborn said the new hoist at the Lismore Memorial Baths filled an accessibility gap.

"It's easy to use, and for people with mobility issues it means increased access and equality," he said.

The new hoist, which requires no prior booking, was made possible by a partnership between Lismore City Council, its Access Committee and Northern Rivers Mobility and Scooter Solutions.

It allows people with mobility issues to be lifted from their wheelchair to the pool change table and be lowered into the pool - a task that was previously undertaken by carers.

Pool staff have been trained to use the hoist, easing the burden of carers.

Northern Rivers Mobility and Scooter Solutions managing director Ron Van Setten said: "The hoist extends right out to the pool and lowers. All of this equipment allows people a much better quality of life."

Jenny London, CEO of disability service provider Red Inc, applauded the addition: "It will make a huge difference over summer. A lot of our young people with disabilities come here to the pool and to have someone trained to help our disability workers is great," she said.

The hoist will be used at the Lismore Memorial Baths during summer and transferred to the Goonellabah Sports & Aquatic Centre for the winter months

Council's Partnering and Community Engagement Officer Catherine Rosenbaum said: "We don't want the hoist sitting in a shed doing nothing, so we were very specific that it had to be portable so it could be used by the community all year round," Catherine said.

She said the project demonstrated Council listening to the community.

Mr Clibborn added: "There are so many things that able-bodied people don't realise that chair-bound people can't do because of a lack of access."



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