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New £5m rehab centre to help disabled people through sport therapy

A new £5m rehab centre has opened in Gloucester, in partnership with the University of Gloucestershire, offering hope to people living with muscular dystrophy (MS) and other physical disabilities.

The Chamwell Centre charity aims to help relieve pain and encourage disabled people’s participation in a number of unique sporting activities.

The charity was already known for playing a key role in the local community, including supporting Milestone school, which caters for 308 children with special needs aged between 2 and 16 years.

The new partnership will see a team of experts from the University of Gloucestershire explore how hydrotherapy and other specialist treatments can make a difference to those in need.

Dr Nicola Theis, senior lecturer in sport and exercise at the University of Gloucestershire, and a trustee of the Chamwell Centre Charity, is leading the project.

Dr Theis said

By studying these therapies we hope to gain valuable insights into the management of childhood and adult disabilities, and encourage improved access to similar treatments across the UK.

More data is needed to understand how, for example, hydrotherapy can help young arthritis suffers, and how initiatives like rebound therapy, soft play and all-ability team sports can improve a person’s physical health and mental wellbeing.

The academics will be joined by several students from the university, all of whom will be undertaking work placements to team’s crucial work.

Gilli Appleby, CEO of Chamwell, added:

We’re very grateful for our partnership with the University of Gloucestershire, which furthers our understanding of how to best support disabled people through the research projects being carried out, and through the students on placements who help us deliver these vital services.

Find out more about the Chamwell Centre charity by visiting

Photo by the University of Gloucestershire