Pools reach more families through new Sensory Hour

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Published: 26 May 2023

Hutt City Council is pleased to offer a new Sensory Hour at Huia Pool with dimmed lights and reduced noise.

Hutt City Pools was approached by Āhuru Mōwai Trust who has worked with Councils throughout the Greater Wellington region over the past year to encourage the creation of sensory sessions at public pools.

"The trust is all about providing and advocating for spaces that allow families who have children with extra or sensory needs the opportunity to participate in regular activities." says Paul Latham, Trustee of Āhuru Mōwai Trust. "With the addition of Sensory hour at Huia pool we’re excited to reach more families in Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai, Lower Hutt."

The new Sensory Hour runs on Sundays from 4:30pm to 5:30pm in the hydro pool. During this hour the lights are dimmed, no music is played and staff are on hand to support families using the pool.

"It’s amazing how changing the lighting and sound can have a big impact on families wanting to visit our pools." Says Kay Lindsay, Swim City Manager.

Sensory Hour sessions are also free of charge, removing another hurdle families can face, as they’re never sure if a pool visit will last two hours or five minutes.

"We hope families who wouldn't otherwise venture to their local public pool can now do so with confidence, knowing the environment will be less overwhelming and staff are there to help."

Sensory Hour is running as a trial at Huia Pool on Sundays until 25 June. If successful, Hutt City Council may extend it.