By Rebecca Nadge
The Molyneux Aquatic Centre has welcomed a new aquatic wheelchair, thanks to a generous donation from Lodge Manuherikia Kilwinning.
Molyneux Aquatic Centre team leader Anna Koehnlein said the wheelchair, which the pool received about three weeks ago, was all about improving accessibility. The mobility chair could be used to transport people both to and from the water’s edge, as well as to other areas such as the showers, she said.
One client used the chair about five times a week, she said, making it an essential service. For some people, swimming was the only suitable form of exercise, and was important for muscle rehabilitation work and building confidence, she said.
“It makes a big difference for the ones that need it.
“Without it they wouldn’t even come.
“We’re extremely grateful for a new one.”
The wheelchair replaced and earlier model the swimming pool had used since 2003. After being approached by a pool staff member about the need for a new chair, the Masonic Lodge stepped in and gave about $3500 to cover the cost of the purchase.
Masonic Trusts have a history of donating money to community organisations and projects.
Earlier this year, the Otago MasonicTrust donated $20,000 to Central Otago community organisations as part of its annual grant scheme, and the 13 lodges within the Otago Lakes District area last year raised $54,000 for the Otago Regional Rescue Helicopter Trust, with support from the New Zealand Freemasons.
Rather than holding fundraising events, Masonic lodges usually receive donations and bequests, ensuring any grants or donations are new money for the community.