Disability Swim Session Success for Buddy Scheme Charity
Cygnet Swim is run by Everybody Sport and Recreation and is an inclusive swim session for families (including carers) with disabled children of all ages. The aim of the swim session is to provide the opportunity for a fun, relaxing swim with like minded families or groups. The swim session runs once a month at Alsager Leisure Centre.
The swim session was set up following feedback from some families as they wanted to go swimming but were unable to attend a public swim for a number of reasons including children needing 1:1 support.
Central Cheshire Buddy Scheme (CCBS) is a charity which supports children and young people with disabilities, their families and their siblings through a number of activity clubs. In particular CCBS have an activity group which supports children and young people who were not accessing any activities as they require additional support to do so. Many of these children and young people have complex health needs, severe autism or challenging behaviour.
CCBS have attended the Cygnet Swim bringing a group of 8-10 young people (plus support) to attend the session at Alsager Leisure Centre which has been very successful for the group.
Stephanie Lawley from CCBS commented,
“During swimming all the children and young people are engaged, they all enjoy swimming and the sensation of the water. It is good therapy for the children, helping them relax in a safe fun environment. Other activity venues have been crowded and other children have upset the group.
We have found the whole experience at Alsager Leisure Centre very positive, the staff have been fantastic catering for our users needs and we want to encourage more families to get active and have fun.”
Attending a closed session such as the Cygnet Swim has helped to provide a regular activity for the group which is enjoyed by the young people and staff. The atmosphere is more relaxed as all swimmers are like minded and not having to worry about comments from members of the public.
Andy Molyneux, Disability and Inclusion Lead at Everybody commented,
“Having a formal session at designated times gives the young people the structure of an activity they require. However once they are in the water they have the choice to use a variety of equipment e.g. balls, floats, buoyancy aids. This helps the young people to relax and express themselves under the guidance the CCBS staff supporting them and additional Everybody staff on pool side when required. This has meant the young people are calmer in the water and more relaxed afterwards.”
Notes to Editor
Everybody Sport & Recreation – Everybody is a charitable trust established to run public leisure services in the Cheshire East area. The trust aims to provide ‘leisure for life’ by changing lives through healthy recreation. The charity operates 15 leisure facilities as well as leisure development and outreach programmes and the new Everybody Academy, providing local training and career opportunities. For more information please visit: www.everybody.org.uk or follow on Twitter @ebleisure
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