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Specialised equipment to support independent movement at Southern Support School

A SPECIALISED piece of equipment has been installed at the Southern Support School in Howrah to provide students with mobility issues the opportunity for independent movement.

The Hospa-dress is an adjustable trunk harness with a padded groin saddle, a wide adjustable waistband and wide shoulder straps that connect to webbing straps.

The harness is then connected to a tracking system that lets the participant move.

Southern Support School principal Simon Ellaby said the Hopsa-dress had increased the students’ mobility and independence.

“A Hospa-dress allows our students to increase their skills in ways they couldn’t otherwise do,” he said.

“It supports the students’ weight so they can walk along the ground with their lower limbs without having to support their own body weight.”

Mr Ellaby said benefits included improved leg movement, improved weight bearing, improved balance in standing, and improved coordination of movement needed to walk.

“Approximately 10 per cent of our student population will benefits from this program,” he said.

The funds for the Hospa-dress were raised by the Clarence Lions Club, who hosted barbecues, raffles and other fundraisers to raise about $3000 for the equipment.

“Helping youth is one of Lions’ global causes, and anything we can do to help youth like this is something very important for us to do,” Clarence Lions Club president Stephen Smith said.

“The need for this specialist equipment was identified by Lion’s Club member Lesley McLaren who is a relief teacher at the Support School.

“It’s not just a matter of strengthening the body, but it’s also a confidence thing for the child.”

The Clarence Lions Club has also supported other organisations in the community and is always interested serving the community in whatever way they can.