‘Much-loved’ swimming club raising vital funds

Members at the swimming club in Haywards Heath have a range of special needs and physical disabilities
Members at the swimming club in Haywards Heath have a range of special needs and physical disabilities

A ‘much-loved’ swimming club in Haywards Heath is raising funds for a new minibus.

The Seahorses Swimming Club, which runs every Tuesday at the Dolphin Leisure Centre in Pasture Hill Road is for people with a range of special needs and physical disabilities.

Haywards Heath Lions Club put on a quiz night earlier this month which raised a thousand pounds for the club

Haywards Heath Lions Club put on a quiz night earlier this month which raised a thousand pounds for the club

Due to their yellow minibus succumbing to old age, the club is raising funds towards the cost of a new vehicle to transport members from and to the club and for occasional weekend galas and outings.

“Many of our members are unable to access public transport, so the use of a minibus is vital to them being able to access the club,” said Sally Holmwood, a personal assistant to a member of the club.

She added: “It is not just a place of exercise, but also an opportunity to meet up and socialise with their friends and it is nice for them to use this bus.”

The community has already come to the aid of the club, including Haywards Heath Lions Club, who put on a quiz night earlier this month at the Haywards Heath United Services Club, which raised £1,000.

P&S Gallagher Funeral Directors in Burgess Hill also sponsored the evening.

Denys Hutson, president of Haywards Heath Lions Club, said: “As a club we have supported Seahorses over the years and this year was no exception.

“Seahorses are a very worthwhile cause to support and this year it gave me and the club great pleasure in presenting them with a cheque.”

The club has been running for 35 years and has 50 members. Ages range from early teens to 80.

David Menon, 32, from Lindfield, used to work in a cafe at the Dolphin Leisure Centre from 2000 to 2004, whilst he was studying.

He became very close to the swimming club and still visits them to see how things are going.

He decided to raise funds when he heard the club needed the new minibus and has raised £600 for them, after running half a marathon in October and receiving donations from people he know’s.

David, who now lives in London and works as a sports journalist for Sky Sports News, said the Seahorses were the ‘first charity that came to mind’.

He added: “It is a local cause and the club does not have much exposure, therefore it is great to get as much as possible and you know money is going to a great cause.

“I got to know the club very well and you could not meet a nicer group of people – and it is not just the fitness aspect of the club, but also the social.”

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