A LEISURE centre has dedicated an afternoon a week to allow wounded, injured or sick service personnel and veterans the chance to swim to aid their rehabilitation.

Residents from the Help for Heroes Recovery Centre, Phoenix House, in Catterick Garrison visit Richmond Swimming Pool every Tuesday as part of the centre’s fitness programme, and have the lifeguard-manned pool to themselves.

Some soldiers and veterans are training for particular events, such as triathlons, while others use the time to increase their general fitness.

Kelly Bostock, rehabilitation support lead at Phoenix House, said Richmond Pool is a brilliant facility for the centre to use.

She said: “The guys and girls really appreciate being able to come down every Tuesday afternoon to swim and train. There’s a great atmosphere and we are so grateful for the support we receive.”

Richmond Pool also opened specially last year when Phoenix House hosted the Phoenix Games, a sporting competition between all Help for Heroes recovery centres.

Sharon Searle, projects coordinator at Richmond Swimming Pool, part of the Richmondshire Leisure Trust, said it was great to see the veterans and soldiers using the facility.

She said: “As we have strong links with the Garrison, we wanted to show our support.

“We have seen what a difference it makes to the men and women using the pool and we wanted to offer our full support to the Recovery Centre.”

The Northern Echo appeal to raise £100,000 for a new performing arts facility in a proposed Wellbeing centre at Phoenix House has made a strong start but donations are still needed.

To contribute to the appeal print out the form at http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/resources/files/31397, complete and send to Phoenix House with a cheque for Help For Heroes – the form is necessary to ensure the money is directed to Phoenix House.

Send to Help For Heroes, Northern Echo Appeal, Phoenix House Recovery Centre, Richmond Road, Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, DL9 3AW.