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WISHING WELL DONATES TO UNIQUE SWIMMING & THERAPEUTIC PROGRAMME
Monday 27th February 2017

Antigua & Barbuda, St. John’s – When well-known optometrist Dr. Jilia Bird volunteered to conduct a vision screening for a group of students in 2016 at a special needs school, she discovered that quite a few of them were not visually impaired. Furthermore, it became clear that quite a few of the children had various challenges/disabilities such as autism and cerebral palsy. This discovery guided Dr. Bird’s actions to create a programme where these children could not only get some physical activities, but also receive therapeutic relief.

The Wishing Well Inc. Foundation was recently approached to provide much needed resources to allow at least 15 children, some of their siblings and some other adults to partake in this specially created form of physical therapy. Rehabilitation through swimming and other aquatic activities have proven to give good results for children with autism in particular.

The Wishing Well Foundation is proud to join other sponsors and driving forces behind the programme (such as Social Worker Koren Norton, Mr. Tony Johnson of the John Boden Memorial Fund, the Marlin Swim Club coaches and many others working tirelessly behind the scenes) under the watchful eyes of Dr. Bird. On Friday, February 24th 2017, Mr. Lionel Bramble of The Verandah Resort & Spa represented the Wishing Well Foundation while handing over cheques that would cover the coaches’ expenses for the next three months. The presentation was held at the Dickenson Bay beach while the children enjoyed the swimming classes.

“Quite often we take things for granted, such as good sight, good hearing and being able-bodied. We are honoured that we are able to give this group of children and persons an opportunity to be active in a lovely relaxing environment with amazing sensory experiences. We hope that after today’s presentation other sponsors will come forward to continue with this ongoing programme.” Mr. Lionel Bramble, Duty Manager of The Verandah Resort & Spa

"The need for all children to move more is now a global public health dilemma but is even more urgent in children with physical or developmental challenges. Swimming and aqua therapy in Antigua's abundant sparkling waters provides unique opportunities for special needs children that aren't possible on land. A first time experience for many, they learn water safety, exercise muscles and loosen joints without the limiting effects of gravity. Spirits soar and their smiles say what their lips often yet can't." Dr. Jilia Bird, Optometrist


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