'We need people to help' - Stevenage swimming club for the disabled could close without volunteers
PUBLISHED: 13:07 05 November 2015 | UPDATED: 17:20 19 November 2015
A swimming club which has provided enjoyment and exercise for disabled people in Stevenage for than 50 years could soon be left high and dry.
The Dolphins Swimming Club will be forced to close if it cannot find new volunteers to help with its administration.
Chairman David Hill said: “If we can’t find these people it is hard to see how we can continue. We are a registered charity and it has got to be run properly.
“It seems crazy to have more than 120 members and not be able to find six people to do administration, but that is the sad fact.”
David joined the Stevenage Swimming Centre-based club 22 years ago when he moved to the town.
His daughter Pamela, 44, swam for England in the Special Olympics and she wanted to carry on competing when they moved to Stevenage.
They joined and she still takes part in swimming galas against other disabled teams from across Hertfordshire and London.
David, a retired bank manager, said all of this will stop unless they can find the help by their annual general meeting on Sunday, November 15.
The 69-year-old said: “It is a great shame. We are the first club that was open at the new swimming pool in 1962. It has been running ever since and is a club for all sorts of special needs.
“Originally it was mainly amputees, but it is now used by a huge range of people. We have lots of people with autism and other learning difficulties to people recovering from operations. It is a super facility.
“We get great support from Stevenage Borough Council and Stevenage Leisure Limited and we don’t need a lot of money to run. The main problem is we just need people to run the administration.
“It’s not that there is a huge amount of work, but we need someone on the desk to tick everyone in for insurance purposes and the pool’s regulations.
“We are also a charity and need someone to help with the accounts and annual report.”
The club has run on shoestring staff for a long time, but two of its committee members are in their 70s and another is due to undergo radiotherapy soon.
David has asked the club’s members if any of them can help before but, as many of them are carers for disabled children or relatives, they do not have the time to donate.
This has led it to launch a final appeal for help before its annual meeting.
For more information about the group visit www.stevenage-dolphins.org.