Heart-warming donation helps severely disabled children

Katharina Paul, a Westville swimming teacher with Gordon Urquhart.

The heating of the pool at Pathways Centre for Children with Severe Disabilities in Westville, was the answer to prayer.

For the children and young adults of Pathways, being able to participate in group swimming is therapeutic and an absolute necessity.

But for some, particularly those with Cerebral Palsy, the temperature of the swimming pool water, even in the height of summer, is too cold for the exercises to have any positive effect.

“As soon as they are enter the water, the Cerebral Palsy children’s bodies tense up completely, and they are unable to do anything in the water,’ said Pathways Principal, Jenny Head.

So it was an answer to the school’s prayers when a Westville swimming teacher, said she might know someone who could help solve the problem.


Enjoying the warm water are clockwise, from left: Abigail Swales with Ntombi Khumalo; Elihle Dlamini with
Nonku Kubheka; Andile Buys with Nomzamo Nqeketo and Mnqobi Motaung with Vusi


At the end of the 2016 school year, John Mulgrew, MD, and Bert Delaney, Group Financial Director, of Des Group and Dign Engineering, trading as Design South Africa and Design Manufacture

respectively, donated a pool heater sufficient for Pathways’ needs.

‘John agreed that the company could go ahead and assist Pathways. John is very benevolent and assists many organisations,’ said Bert Delaney.

Before Christmas, the heater was bought and paid for, and installed by Pool Concepts of Westville, who, in turn, offered a discount on their installation fee and donated three ball valves. This much-needed donation from sympathetic community members and businesses meant the children of Pathways could start this academic year being able to enjoy and greatly benefit from their much-needed water therapy.

“It is with a collective heart of gratitude that Pathways management and staff accept such donations as the new swimming pool heater, knowing that without such help, the school could not see to the needs of the children it seeks to help,” said Head.

Since its humble beginnings in a room at the Kloof Methodist Church 21 years ago, Pathways has grown and moved into a new premises in Westville. The school can offer up to 59 severely disabled children and young adults the learning and care they need. The NPO is entirely dependant on private sponsorship and donations, receiving no government support.



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Michelle Dennis

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