Cash plea in bid to save swim club

Sharks Swimming Club at St Annes Baths'Charlotte Makin Age 10 with Kath Turner

Sharks Swimming Club at St Annes Baths'Charlotte Makin Age 10 with Kath Turner

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SOME St Annes swimmers are in desperate need of a lifeline.

The Shark Swimming Club, which offers lessons to young children with special needs, could be about to sink unless funds can be found to keep it afloat.

The club started in September with the help of an Aiming High for Disabled Children grant and now has 50 pupils on its books.

But it now looks to be on the verge of closure as money for the scheme ends in April because of Government cuts.

Chairman Dave Marsland made a desperate plea for donations.

He said: “The sessions have been a lifeline for the children and their families. It has broken down barriers, allowing the children to learn water confidence, techniques and skills in a private setting.

“The children are in a routine, and for some disabilities it could be challenging to break that established routine.”

One option being explored is to cut the sessions back from weekly to monthly but this will not provide a long-term solution.

Mr Marsland says a minimum of £10,000 is needed to keep the club going for a further 18 months.

He added: “The cost of running two groups can be quite high, with pool hire, teachers, lifeguards and equipment but luckily the YMCA have been very helpful to us for which we are very thankful.”

Adrienne Makin, who takes her ten-year-old daughter Charlotte to the swim club, said her and other parents were desperate to keep it going.

“Before this Charlotte had nowhere to go that provided the one-to-one care she needs.

“It isn’t like attending a club, it is really like being a part of a family, they are so supportive and their help is invaluable – without it Charlotte wouldn’t have made the progress she has.

“We would be truly devastated if the sessions were to end, it has allowed all the children to achieve their potential.

“All parents and those involved with the club desperately want and need this club to stay afloat.”

Classes run every Saturday afternoon at St Annes and Kirkham swimming baths.

They are open to children under the age of 18 with all levels of disability.

A sponsored swim is being organised to raise money.

If you would like to donate call 07921 712 159 or email ymca_disability@hotmail.co.uk.