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EDITIONS
 Friday, 10 January, 2003, 17:20 GMT
Zeta Jones' cash secures therapy pool
Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas
Zeta Jones donated another undisclosed sum recently
A five-figure donation from Catherine Zeta Jones has ensured a golden year for a Swansea charity raising money for a hydrotherapy pool.

The pregnant actress's father, David Jones, told staff at the Longfields day centre in West Cross about the cash gift last week.

She is fantastic, she is as natural and lively as can be

Ron Davies, chairman

The charity, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2002, has also been awarded nearly 228,000 in lottery funding for the pool to help people with disabilities.

Longfields' chairman Ron Davies said: "We told the staff just before Christmas about the lottery, it was something nice for them to go away with.

"At the same time Gloria Watts, our first matron at Longfields, had an MBE in the New Year's Honours List and then we thought three times for a Welshman, what is next?

"Then on the 3 January David Jones came to see us, it has been quite an exciting fortnight."

Catherine at Longfields, (picture courtesy of Longfields)
Catherine with Ron Davies and Pauline Brayley

He added: "It is a very generous and substantial sum that has knocked a big hole in the 51,000 needed to pull together the project."

The community fund lottery money plus the donation means planning for the pool can start straightaway with a meeting to be held on Thursday, 16 January.

The pool will help people, who have cerebral palsy or other disabilities, with their muscle tone, movement and social interaction.

Thirty-five people, aged over 19, use the centre on a daily basis.

Having a pool will also mean it can be used to help people in the community, said Mr Davies.

The pool could be built before next Christmas and an official launch, with a possible invitation to Catherine Zeta Jones, being organised this year, said Mr Davies.

The chairman said a letter of thanks had been sent to the actress, who has been a patron for two years.

Good patron

Mr Davies said the charity has nothing but praise for Zeta Jones who has visited them often.

He said "She is fantastic, she is as natural and lively as can be.

"People with cerebral palsy and other disabilities can have behavioural problems and they are not always easy.

"People don't know how to approach them but she does," said Mr Davies.

Zeta Jones knows some of the parents who use Longfields, said the chairman.

"She has made a number of visits, she is a good patron, it's not just a name on a piece of paper," he added.


More from south west Wales
See also:

21 Oct 02 | Wales
16 Dec 02 | Wales
30 Dec 02 | Wales
19 Dec 02 | Entertainment
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