Residents swap wheelchairs for water slides to beat the heat

Residents swapped their wheelchairs for water slides in Christchurch on Tuesday, in a bid to stay cool in the sweltering heat.

About 60 residents at the St John of God Hauora Trust in Halswell were having a day of "fun" with a slip-and-slide event set up to cope in the heat.

"I guess we knew it was going to be a really hot day," said health and ability services regional manager Virginia Spoors.

"You can imagine, if you're sitting in a wheelchair, how uncomfortable that is. So we were thinking, what can we do to keep people cool and have some fun."

The trust provides support for people living with physical or neurological disabilities.

Many of the residents were recovering stroke victims, she said, and the day was about encouraging people to take opportunities.

Ms Spoors said one resident - Louise, who cannot walk - was unsure how she would get down the slip and slide.

With the help of staff, she ended up going down five times. 

Activities coach Nigel Matthews said the day had been "fantastic".

"When you get a day come along like this, the managers said, 'Let's do something different, water slide', you're going, 'How's that going to work?'

"But it's been great - staff, residents, family and volunteers have been coming in."