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History and current status

The origins of this project lie in the West Berkshire Neurological Alliance (WBNA), which is an association of voluntary organisations and individuals "with an interest in people with a neurological condition, based in and around Berkshire West, working together to ensure that the local provision of health and related services includes fully funded neuro-rehabilitation facilities and resources appropriate to and serving the needs of all".

Inspired by examples of advanced therapies elsewhere in the country, the WBNA has long seen the need for a hydrotherapy pool available to those which it helps, in West Berkshire. In 2006 its vision took a first practical step forward when the WBNA secured grant funding for a feasibility study, which was undertaken by a local management consultancy. It included a detailed market assessment, advised on location, design issues, marketing and staffing, and included a financial model which demonstrated its viability.

Further, by analysing the user bases for other similar pools, it was shown that the benefits of hydrotherapy extended to well beyond those with neurological conditions, to also include people with arthritis and back injuries, learning difficulties, patients in post-operative recuperation and many others. A Project Board was established to further the cause and we were successful in securing the support of the Greenham Common Trust, which is one of the most important grant providers and sources of charitable funds in the Newbury and surrounding areas.

The Project Board also extended the concept of the hydrotherapy pool towards that of a Therapy Centre with additional facilities, notably a gym equipped with power-assisted exercise equipment. A second feasibility study showed that a Power-Assisted Exercise Gym (PAEG) would address largely the same groups of users, providing additional benefits at a modest incremental cost and further improving the financial viability of the project.. Meanwhile, the Project Board was strengthened and evolved into a Board of Trustees of the Berkshire Health and Well-being Social Enterprises (BHWBSE), a charitable company limited by guarantee (Registered Number 6988472, England and Wales).


For further information on our research and plans we have made available a number of documents for download. These are pdf files, requiring Adobe Acrobat to view them.