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Neptune Blog

Thank you for having a look Neptune Aquatic solutons blog. Here we plan to give advice to our swimming praents with ideas of what to do with their children while taking them swimming. As well as help our hydrotherapy clients, and other swim schools with advice, thoughts and guidance that they can use. 

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Our NEW booking system

Posted by david on December 6, 2018 at 8:10 AM

We’re launching a new booking system for all of our public swimming sessions at Starfish Hydrotherapy Pool and Wyvern Hydrotherapy Pool. The new system is much more flexible and will allow you to view, manage and adjust your own bookings online. As part of the switch you will need to register your details during your first booking. We’re also making some small changes to how some of our swim sessions are paid for.

Pre-payment for all of our family sessions

As part of the change we’ll now be asking for payment for the following sessions at the time of booking;

  • Family swim
  • Disability family swim
  • Under 5’s swim
  • Discover and play (during school holiday time)

We’ve made this change to to make sure that everyone who books a swim, or is on the waiting list, has the best opportunity to enjoy one of our great swim sessions. We currently don’t ask for notification if you and your family are unable to attend and these popular sessions often have waiting lists. If we don’t know that you’re unable to attend there are free spaces available which customers on the waiting list could use.

Here at Neptune Aquatics we understand that plans can change, especially with small children in tow! So, if you’re not able to attend, all you’ll need to do is log in to the new booking system and transfer your booking to another available session. If you do this within 12 hours of the session starting you won’t lose your payment. You can only transfer your booking once, but if you need to do it a second time you can contact our team who can move the booking for you, again within 12 hours of the session starting. If you’d prefer to cancel a booking, you can do this up to 24 hours in advance of the session start time and your payment will be refunded, alternatively you can transfer your booking to a move convenient time.

The good news is that if you’re not able to book a space and instead add your details to a waiting list you’ll now have a much better chance of getting a space at your swim session. Our new booking system is fully automated, so as soon as a space becomes available the customers on the waiting list will be contacted and have a chance to book. When a space becomes available the first person on the waiting list will be contacted and will have 45 minutes to book and pay for their space. After this time the space will then be offered to the next person on the waiting list, and so on. If all of the people on the waiting list have been contacted and no-one has accepted the space will then be opened again for general booking.

Pre-booked sessions

If you’ve already booked a session we will have transfer this to the new system for you. As soon as the system is live you will receive and email notification of your booking to the email address we have on our current system.

How to make your booking

When you enter the system you’ll see a full timetable of all the available sessions which you can search by date. Once you click on the session you are interested in you’ll see an overview of the type of session plus the availability. If you’d like to book the session you’ll be able to select the type of ticket you need to add this to your basket. You can do this as many times as you like for as many sessions as you would like to book. When you’re ready to checkout your basket, simply click on your basket and you’ll see all of the sessions you have booked. You can edit and remove them and also add discount codes. Once you’ve clicked ‘book now’ you’ll then need to fill out your registration details and make any payment we’ll need to secure your booking. You’ll then receive an email with your booking code. Once you’re booked just come along and enjoy your swim!

We hope that you’ll find the new booking system easy to use, but don’t worry if you need a little help. Once the system is up and running we’ll be publishing a step-by-step guide on our website to help you through the new booking process and how to use the system to manage your existing bookings. If you’re still having trouble you can always call the pool to make your booking.

Why choose a Hydro-cise class?

Posted by david on November 8, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Our hydro-cise classes are a great alternative to a session at the gym! With your body partially submerged in the water your joints have better functionality, blood flow is increased and all muscle groups in your body are worked at the same time.

The hydro-cise sessions are led by a qualified instructor and use a range of different equipment such as weights and specialised floats to reach your personal fitness goals. With a mixture of group tasks and individual work-outs during station based activities our hydro-cise classes are suitable for everyone regardless of their level of fitness.

The classes are great fun and really sociable sessions, but don’t just take our word for it - here’s what some of our customers think.


I originally wanted something to keep active whilst I was pregnant. Being in the warm water and having the weight of my bump lifted was the perfect motivation I needed to exercise. I lasted until the week before my due date! The instructors are friendly and knowledgeable, leaning on your strengths and weaknesses to help you achieve the maximum from every exercise in the circuit. It’s a really lovely group and the combination has meant that I’ve continued to come back since having my child almost 2½ years ago.


I really enjoy doing the hydro-cise classes. The Neptune team are very friendly and helpful. It’s a fun workout with a great bunch of people!


I started the hydro-cise classes in the summer of 2016. After having a knee replacement I wanted to do some exercise and it was suggested that exercise in water would be the best. I enrolled for hydro-cise at Starfish Hydrotherapy Pool in Chippenham.

It only took two or three weeks to see improvement and that has continued over the two years I’ve been going. I found I settled in very quickly as Stuart made the sessions very accessible nd fun and makes you feel part of the group. He explains really clearly and demonstrates the exercises well. He will quickly adapt an exercise I find difficult or painful or suggest an alternative. I enjoy the variety of exercises and the friendly banter that makes it so enjoyable.

As well as benefiting the movement in my knee, I have improved my overall fitness and mobility and it has helped me to lose weight. I have only missed classes when I’ve been ill as they have been so beneficial.

NEW FOR 2018 - Hydro-cise HiiT!

Our new high impact session is designed to really get your heart pumping through a series of exercises followed by short periods of rest. Join us on a Wednesday at 7:45pm to improve your fitness and burn off those extra unwanted calories

Find out more about hydro-cise classes and to book your session here.

Hydrotherapy Stories - Lesley Earp

Posted by david on November 1, 2018 at 6:30 AM

Access to Hydrotherapy can be patchy on the NHS. Facilities are not readily available in many locations and it's still seen as an alternative therapy. Despite being proven to help improve symptoms in a wide range of conditions, and even improve patients mental health the treatment is often overlooked in favour of more traditional therapies.

In this article one of our customers, Lesley Earp, who suffered a life changing spinal cord injury, writes about how she fell through the cracks of NHS treatment and how finding the Starfish Hydrotherapy Pool  in Chippenham inproved her quality of life.

I suffered a spinal cord injury, C5 and C6, which initially paralysed both legs and my left arm. A cage was placed in my neck to stabilise my spine. I kept collapsing and eventually had a pacemaker inserted, this was the probable cause of my collapse which caused the injury. The physiotherapist at the Royal United Hospital, Bath, was wonderful and he managed to get me up and walking in a month, I was discharged after 7 weeks. Although I was on the waitlist for the Salisbury Spinal Unit I was discharged before a bed became available for me there.

I had been given some physiotherapy in Melksham Hospital but frankly they had no experience with spinal cord injuries and were frightened to deal with me. Finally they refused to treat me unless my doctor gave them a set of parameters to work in – no reply was received from the surgery and treatment ceased!

While waiting in the physiotherapy department in Melksham I had noticed a leaflet about the Starfish Hydrotherapy Pool in Chippenham. I had discussed with them the possibility of swimming, but no one mentioned the availability of this facility.

My neighbour (who also suffers from spinal problems) and I paid a visit to the pool and were made most welcome by the staff who explained the facilities available. The pool was heated to a higher temperature than normal pools and they could produce a tailor made programme of exercises following an assessment of each individuals needs. We duly joined one of the open sessions and thoroughly enjoyed it, both finding it beneficial. I decided that I would take the package including a programme of exercises.

That was nearly two years ago and I am now on my fifth set of exercises. I find that they are so beneficial and have helped me enormously during my recovery period. It is always so reassuring that there is always help on hand, should it be required. Also, if it's noticed that I am not doing the exercises in quite the correct way it is pointed out to me. I am absolutely sure that my weekly session over this period has strengthened my body, in particular my legs, and also helped with balance problems.

I really do not know how I would have managed to exercise and regain some strength if it were not for the Starfish Hydrotherapy pool and the excellent staff.

I have written an article for the Spinal Injuries Association about my difficulty in finding help after my discharge from hospital since the NHS provided very little after care, help or advice. There is no source that appears to have a list of facilities/organisations that can assist those with physical injuries and it was only by chance that I found the Neptune Aquatics pool in Chippenham.

If you'd like to find out more about our open Hydrotherapy sessions at Starfish Hydrotherapy Pool in Chippenham, or Wyvern Hydrotherapy Pool in Weymouth you can find details of how to contact our team here. You can try your first hydrotherapy session for FREE using the code HYDRO2 when booking online.

Meet Team Neptune!

Posted by david on October 22, 2018 at 9:35 AM

In this series of blogs we’ll introduce you to the Neptune Team, this week it’s time to meet Oliver Lee!

What is your role at Neptune Aquatics?

Like all of the management team here at Neptune you’ve probably met me at the pool teaching our swimmers. But I have a busy job outside of teaching as the Director of Operations. I’m an aquatics tutor, which means I can teach and examine new swimming teachers, along with being a pool plant operator with specific experience in running hydrotherapy pools. I’m also a key part of the hydrotherapy team and help to lead that side of the business, including developing the Personal Hydrotherapy Programme for our customers. If all that wasn’t enough I also manage all of the company finances!

What is a typical day like for you?

I’ve been part of the Neptune team since 2014 and I can honestly say that no two days are ever the same! I spend part of my time in our head office in Melksham. I might be out at meetings with clients or pool managers, or running swim teacher training courses. I still love to teach swimming and you’ll often see me around the pools in Wiltshire and also in Weymouth.

What’s the best thing about your job?

One of the best things about the job is seeing how hydrotherapy can really make a difference in people’s lives. We have lots of clients who have achieved more than they ever thought possible through attending our hydrotherapy sessions. It really can be life changing!

I’m also really proud of all those swimming teachers I’ve trained and examined who’ve gone on to make great careers for themselves. And I’ll always love seeing children (and sometimes adults) gain confidence in the water and develop into great swimmers who really enjoy being in the water.

When you’re not teaching or in the office what do you like to get up to?

I am hugely into all sport, particularly following Manchester United and New England Patriots. I also enjoy supporting our national teams - football, cricket, rugby and many more!! I have three children who also keep me very busy! After all that if I have any spare time I enjoy watching films and - of course - playing fortnite.

What do you think your colleagues would say about you?

My colleagues would say that I’m very laid back in my approach to work, as long as everything gets done I’m happy to be relaxed about it. We like a good discussion at the head office and like the rest of the Neptune team I’m not shy in expressing my views!! I love to teach and I think the Neptune team would say I’m very good at that!

If you had a super-power what would it be?

Wouldn’t it be fantastic to control time? There are never enough hours in the day, so to go back and have the ability to spend extra time with family or friends would be fantastic!

Why not say ‘hello’ and ask him about Hydrotherapy or the ability to create more hours in the day the next time you spot Olly poolside!


Next time - meet Steph Westbrook.

Hydrotherapy for managing arthritis symptoms

Posted by david on October 11, 2018 at 5:25 AM

Hydrotherapy has long been proven to help to relieve the symptoms of many forms of arthritis particularly osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. In this article our expert team discuss hydrotherapy and what one of our sessions is like.

Why is hydrotherapy good for the treatment of arthritis?

“Joints which can cause pain during conventional exercise are supported in by the water which can increase the range of movement that an individual is capable of. The warm water of our hydrotherapy pools helps muscles to relax and can ease joint pain, so you may be able to do more exercises that you wouldn’t normally be able to do when you’re not in the water.”

Stuart - Starfish Hydrotherapy Pool.

Do I need to be able to swim?

“You don’t need to be able to swim to join our hydrotherapy sessions. Our pools have a shallow end which you can comfortably stand up in, so you’re welcome to use our hydrotherapy pools for exercise even if you’ve never learned to swim! We also have hoists and sloped steps which means that the pools are fully accessible to everyone.”

Jacob - Starfish Hydrotherapy Pool.


Will I need a referral from my consultant, physiotherapist or GP?

“No, you don’t need a referral to join one of our sessions. We know that getting this type of treatment on the NHS can, unfortunately, be quite tricky as it’s still considered to be an alternative therapy. Here at Neptune we’re passionate about making sure that hydrotherapy is accessible to everyone so we have plenty of sessions available for you to choose from.”

David - Managing Director


What type of exercises will I need to do?

“Our hydrotherapy sessions are designed for you to work at your own pace and complete your own exercises. You may like to work through a programme that you’ve been given by a physiotherapist or other healthcare professional. Or our expert team can help you to develop a personalised hydrotherapy plan designed just for you! Most plans will include stretching exercises and are focused on increasing movement and muscle strengthening.The water can make you feel like you can do much more that you might not be capable on land, so it’s important to take it slowly and not push yourself too far”

Stuart - Starfish Hydrotherapy Pool

What are your sessions like?

“Our customers often say that just being in the water helps them feel better! The warm water and calm environment helps them to feel relaxed and is great for well-being. Compared to larger leisure centre pools our hydrotherapy pools are a quieter environment and we limit the number of people in the water which keeps the sessions really personal and relaxed. If you’d like to bring a healthcare specialist or a family member with you they’re more than welcome and will pay a reduced rate for the session.”

Marcus - Wyvern Hydrotherapy Pool

If you interested in finding out more about our hydrotherapy sessions which run 6 days a week (in Chippenham and Weymouth) drop us an email, Facebook message or give us a call in the office on 01225 308778. Your first session with us will be completely free of charge!

Meet Team Neptune!

Posted by david on October 1, 2018 at 8:25 AM

In this series of blogs we’ll introduce you to the Neptune Team. This week it’s time to meet David Westbrook!

What is your role at Neptune Aquatics?

Most of our customers will have met me at the pool teaching the children how to swim. But behind the scenes I’m busy as the managing director of the company and part of the management team. I started Neptune Aquatics back in 2012 after working in the leisure industry for over 10 years managing leisure centres and running successful swim schools.

What is a typical day like for you?

Part of the reason I love what I do is that there’s no typical day! I might be in the head office in Melksham in the morning, then off to a meeting with one of the pool managers in the afternoon. I like to pick my children up from school as often as I can, but then it’s back to teaching swimming lessons in the evening and at the weekend.

As well as teaching, and heading up the Neptune team, I also sit on a number of national governing bodies. I’m involved in improving and developing training courses for the swimming industry.

Alongside all this I’m also one of the UK’s leading pool plant tutors specialising in hydrotherapy pools. I’m called on to advise companies on build and operation of these pools, which are very different from conventional swimming pools.

Yes, I’m a very busy person!!


What’s the best thing about your job?

One of the best things about the job is seeing children grow and learn. We have some children who’ve been with us since the start of Neptune Aquatics, and seeing how much they’ve achieved with their swimming really is a pleasure.

I’m also really proud of how we’ve turned around the fortunes of the pools which we manage and made sure that they remain open. When we took on the Starfish Hydrotherapy Pool in Chippenham it was under threat of closure. By opening it to the public and running sessions for the whole community (from under 5’s to hydrotherapy) we were able to save the pool from closure. We’re proud that the pool is used by everyone from tiny babies through to retirees, from disabled children through to fitness fanatics!

When you’re not teaching or in the office what do you like to get up to?

Life at Neptune is busy! But when I do have some spare time I’m a huge gamer and love relaxing by playing on my Xbox one or Laptop. My favorite game is Minecraft (yes, I’m a big kid really!) I love playing in my own survival world or on the servers, the best server game is ‘Turf Wars’. The new aquatic update for Minecraft was great as they introduced a range of new aquatic items, including a trident....... which of course is my new favorite item!


How do you think your colleagues would describe you?

I think most of the staff would agree that I am completely bonkers! We have had a lot of questions from swimmers and parents asking if I am really that over the top all the time, the simple answer is YES!!! I was really quiet at school and didn’t really come out of my shell until I started teaching swimming 16 years ago, but then I changed and haven’t looked back since.


If you had a super-power what would it be?

I have always loved this question, fly, become invisible, super strong or super fast? I was once asked if I could breathe underwater, which would make swim teaching so much easier! But I think if I could choose any power at all, it would be the ability to teleport, preferably in a big puff of smoke for added effect!!

Why not say ‘hello’ and ask him about Minecraft or the ability to teleport the next time you spot David poolside!

Next time - meet Oliver Lee!

Why is hydrotherapy good for recovery from surgery?

Posted by david on September 13, 2018 at 5:50 AM

Hydrotherapy has long been proven to aid recovery from a wide variety of surgeries such as;

  • Spinal surgery
  • Hip, knee and ankle replacements
  • Ligament repair
  • Surgery for fractures
  • Muscle strengthening after all types of surgery

Here our expert team discuss how hydrotherapy can help you, and what you might expect from one of our sessions.

Why is hydrotherapy good for recovery from surgery?

“There are a number of reasons why hydrotherapy can help in your recovery. Firstly the water is supportive for damaged joints, ligaments and muscles enabling mobility that might not be possible ‘on land’. Being in the warm water can help to ease pain and swelling. The water also provides resistance which can help to strengthen muscles that have been weakened following surgery. We find that our customers find hydrotherapy sessions to be very enjoyable and relaxing, this positive frame of mind can also help towards a more speedy recovery!”

Jacob - Starfish Hydrotherapy Pool.

Why didn’t my GP recommend this type of therapy?

“Some NHS areas do offer hydrotherapy as part of your rehabilitation programme. However access to hydrotherapy pools can be limited depending on where you live, and waiting lists are often quite long. More traditional physiotherapy methods, generally ‘on land’ are often favoured as hydrotherapy is still considered to be an alternative therapy. We really believe that hydrotherapy should be accessible to everyone, which is why our sessions are open to the public and we have plenty of times to choose from!”

David - Managing Director

What type of exercises will I need to do?

“The type of exercises you will need to do depend on the type of surgery you have undertaken and your physical capabilities. You might like to work with from an exercise plan provided from your physiotherapist or another specialist. Or our team can help you to develop a personalised plan just for you to aid your recovery. Most plans will include stretching exercises and are focused on increasing movement and muscle strengthening. You may then move on to some exercises with weights as the weeks pass. Our sessions are designed for you to work at your own pace so you won’t feel pressured to do things that you’re not comfortable with!”

Stuart - Starfish Hydrotherapy Pool

What are your sessions like?

“We limit the numbers of people that can use the pool during our hydrotherapy sessions so that it stays calm, relaxed and personal. Our pools are fully accessible, so if you need to use hoists to help you get into the pool we can help you with that too. If you need to bring someone with you to help you, or your physiotherapist you’re more than welcome to do this!”

Marcus - Wyvern Hydrotherapy Pool

How long will my recovery take?

“Unfortunately it really is how long is a piece of string! You may start to feel the benefits after just a few weeks, but it may take many months for a full recovery if you have had major surgery. Many of our customers continue using our pool to maintain muscle strength and reduce the risk of further injury.”

Jacob - Starfish Hydrotherapy Pool

If you interested in finding out more about our hydrotherapy sessions which run 6 days a week, in Chippenham and Weymouth, drop us an email, Facebook message or give us a call in the office on 01225 308778. Your first session with us will be completely free of charge!

Why should I enrole my child onto a Swimming Crash Course?

Posted by david on June 21, 2018 at 4:20 AM

Many swim schools run intensive swimming courses. They involve children swimming every day, usually over a 5 day period.

There are lots of reasons why crash courses can be good for children as our Swim School Manager, Steph Westbrook explains here:

“Swimming every day, even if it’s only for a short period, can help a child to progress quickly with their swimming. Parents often comment that they can see their child’s swimming develop before their eyes! The children build every day on what they’re been taught the day before, and without the week’s break of standard swimming programmes their recall is much better! A week on a intensive course is as much swimming as most children do in 5 weeks of term-time lessons so we often see their swimming improve swiftly.”

If your child has never been to swimming lessons before the intensive courses can be helpful too.

“Crash courses are a great way to help young children get used to the swimming lesson environment. Getting into the pool without their parent for a first time can be daunting for a small child. By swimming every day they will settle a lot more quickly and be prepared for their weekly swimming lessons.”

Intensive courses can also help children to build their confidence in the water.

“Swimming every day on a crash course encourages children to become more confident in the water. As with lots of things, doing something more frequently will help small children to feel more settled and happy - and water confidence will follow!”

A crash course can help your child move on to the next stage of their swimming.

“If you have a child who’s almost ready to move to the next stage an intensive course can give them the push they need to progress to the next level. Practising every-day without the weekly gap between lessons can help them learn the skills they need to move up to the next stage.”

Our summer swimming crash courses are running at Wyvern Hydrotherapy Pool, and Starfish Hydrotherapy Pool in July and August, click here to find out more.

Moving up from our Starfish Classes

Posted by david on October 24, 2017 at 8:20 AM

We often get asked how parents can support their child moving up from Starfish to Ducklings. This is a huge change in the style and content of the lessons, as parents will now be watching from the poolside rather than taking part in the water.

This does cause some children some concerns and worries. Most children move up from starfish to Ducklings around 2 ½ to 3 years old. This all depend son the child's ability, confidence and cognitive understanding.

The first thing I will say to parents is to talk to the teacher, find out how close they are to moving up. This can be looked at via our home portal system, that all our swimmers have access to. See your booking confirmation for further details.

Most children who move up are fine for the first few weeks this is due to it being new and exciting. However over a period of 3 weeks, this can turn it to the child being unhappy or even crying. The biggest question we get asked is, what should we do if they cry?

There is a very simple answer, give them support and reassurance that they are safe and that they are enjoying the lesson. However try not to get overly involved in the lesson. Try if you can to sit, watch and reassure from a distance. If the child gets out of the pool, give them a kiss, say well done and bring them back to sit down to go back into the water for their swim. Trust me, I know how hard this can be to watch but if you take them out of the pool or even take them to get changed it instils in them a negative about the swimming pool and can take them a lot longer to regain their confidence without the parent in the water.

A few coping ideas, If you are really worried that things may not go well:

  • As you talk about it refer to the new class as the big girl/boy class, these instils in them that they are growing up (even if you are not ready) and as a result are moving up
  • Find out the teacher's name, so you can talk about who their new teacher will be. Hopefully they will of met them.
  • Bring their favorite toy to watch them now they are in the big girl/boy group.

Try to keep the routine as much of the same as you can, so if dad always brings them, try to keep it the same. I know it is tempting to bring the family to watch for their first time in the pool on their own. But try to leave this, let them settle into their new class.

Try not to have a reward at the end of the lessons. We want them to enjoy the water, not have to endure the water to get the prize at the end.

Talk to their teacher and ask for their advice and talk about the positives, how well they have swam, how the teacher is so impressed with them.


Don't be worried on their first week to come and watch the lessons, get them changed and sit them on poolside to watch. If they then chose to get in, this is brilliant. Don't force them into the water, let them watch and make their own choices. However once they are in, try to encourage them to stay in the water.


I hope this helps to answer some of the questions that you have and if you want to talk more or get a little more information, please get in contact with us.


The beginner's guide to Goggles

Posted by david on September 8, 2017 at 12:35 AM

The first question to ask yourself when looking at buying goggles, is “will they help my child learn to swim?” For some children they are happy wearing goggles and it helps them to develop confidence in the water. For other children, it causes more problems than it is worth to wear them. They spend the so much time, taking them on and off or adjusting them, that by the time they are correctly fitted the lesson is over.

So the first question to always ask is “do they need them and will they help?”

If the answer to the above is yes. Then it is time to start looking at the correct style and type of goggles and ensuring that they fit correctly.

How to make sure the goggles fit?

The key area to focus on are around the eyes and over the bridge of the nose.

Gently press the goggles to your eyes without the strap around the head

You should experience a brief level of suction that hold the goggles to the child's face

Which type of lens are best?

Did you know that the different colour lenses related to the type of water they should be used in? It's not just to make them look good.

Clear lenses– designed to provide maximum visibility in low-light conditions. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor swimming.

Mirrored lenses – reduce brightness and offer glare protection. Ideal for indoor swim races and some outdoor swimming conditions.

Blue lenses – good all-round lens option providing reduced glare in bright conditions. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor swimming.

Amber Lenses - Best suited to high salt content water.

How do I put goggles on properly?

Starting by holding the lenses snug to your eye until they’re positioned correctly - or better still ask your child to hold them.

  1. Hold in place with one hand.
  2. Pull the goggle strap over the head and position on the crown of the head.
  3. The best fit will give you a comfortable even pressure around your eye and a slight suction.