Making a splash for Diverse Abilities

New plans have been approved for a lifechanging hydrotherapy pool complex for adults with profound and life-long disabilities in Dorset.

It is a major milestone in Diverse Abilities £1million Splash Appeal to build the centre and its state-of-the-art therapy pool.

The development is due to be built within the campus of the charity’s Beehive Adult Centre in Manor Avenue, in Poole, which offers care and support for adults with complex needs.

David James Architects have been a supporter of Diverse Abilities for several years.  David James has personally been involved on the panel to drive the Splash Appeal forward and as part of this drive DJA provided a free design service to deliver a much needed state-of-the-art therapy pool.

Having worked closely with Ken Parke Planning Consultants over the last 20 years, David felt their skills would be ideal in unlocking the complexity of the planning system.  Ken Parke kindly provided all his skills free of charge in achieving a planning approval.

Ken Parke, managing director at KPPC, said: “The hydrotherapy pool promises to provide lifechanging water-based therapy for many of the adults supported by Diverse Abilities.

“Research has shown that one of the greatest issues for people with mobility impairments is the weight of gravity taking its toll on those who spend a great deal of time in a chair or bed, especially in terms of pain and wellbeing.

“The pool will be a fantastic asset for the charity to provide much-needed treatment and will give people the opportunity to enjoy the feeling of being free and relaxed while having fun at the same time.

“All at KPPC feel privileged to support Diverse Abilities and wish the charity very best with its plans.”

To bring the scheme alive Kube Visuals kindly provided images free of charge that allowed the planners to appreciate the dynamic and innovative design.

Diverse Abilities previously gained planning permission for a pool complex at the Beehive in 2015 but continuing research into the multitude of benefits of hydrotherapy has resulted in a re-think on the design and configuration of the interior of the pool, which now needs to be longer.

Diverse Abilities provides hydrotherapy for children at its specialist school but has no facilities to continue this when they become adults, even though they need and deserve it just as much.

It says that most of the adults supported by the charity are unable to use public swimming pools due to the low water temperature and poor accessibility. In addition, there are no warm pool facilities in Dorset dedicated to providing therapy for adults with lifelong disabilities.

Without a therapy pool the charity says it is unable to meet the increasingly complex needs of a growing number of adults with profound disabilities.

A spokesperson for Diverse Abilities said: “We are incredibly grateful to David James Architects, Ken Parke Planning Consultants and Kube Visuals for their generous support of this project and bringing the charity a step closer to realising this vital new facility.”

The Beehive provides a base for 50 adults with conditions including Cerebral Palsy, epilepsy, chromosomal disorders, undiagnosed syndromes and profound and multiple learning disabilities, to enjoy life enriching activities and much-needed therapy.

Its other services and facilities include Langside specialist School in Poole, an advice team and children’s respite home.

Diverse Abilities is holding a range of events and fundraisers to help hit its £1m target for its Splash Appeal.

Visit for more details and to offer support.

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