This month’s story comes from Swimlab International, an innovative centre that opened in Puerto del Carmen in 2016, dedicated to specialising in disability development and injury rehabilitation. Paul Webb of Swimlab describes how the pandemic has affected this vital work.
How did Covid affect the centre? Did you face any new challenges?
At first we thought the lockdown would last for two weeks maximum, as most did! Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. We got straight to work helping in any way that we could. The quarantine and restrictions forced us to adapt our equipment. You wouldn’t believe how important a toilet roll or a can of baked beans can be used for therapy!
Thankfully, apart from the initial lockdown, we were able to continue our work for most of the year.
Being able to adapt was key. When face-to-face therapy sessions were not an option, we had to start online sessions, which proved a great asset to the clients and the families also.
What challenges do you normally face with your work?
There are many challenges that we face here in Lanzarote. One of our main issues is with able-bodied people or families using disability bays outside the centre. While it may be for “just 5 minutes”, that takes 5 minutes off a therapy lesson for someone who is waiting for a parking space.
Another challenge would be the changing facilities. Due to Covid restrictions we have had to reduce the facilities, which meant that the disability access rooms are used a lot more. This takes time away from those who have come for therapy.
All we ask for is a little respect and consideration when it comes to disability access spaces or facilities.
How has the response been to your support during Covid?
The response has been great and extremely supportive for the most part. We have tried our very best to accommodate the needs of everyone. However, there are some that don’t understand that the restrictions are out of our control
Best of luck guys! And continue doing the great work you do.
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