Local swim company Puddle Ducks gave families from Claire House Children’s Hospice a splashing good time with a rookie life guard event especially for children whose brothers and sisters suffer from a terminal illness.
In a break from its usual baby and children swimming classes, Puddle Ducks designed the event, held at Stanley School in Pensby, specifically to teach the youngsters about water safety.
The partnership with the Wirral-based charity, which provides specialist care and support to children and young people with serious illnesses, came about thanks to Puddle Ducks franchisee Kerry Parr, who visited Claire House last year.
She said: “Claire House does so much more than people may realise. I was touched by how much the hospice supports the entire family.
“I learnt about the sibling counselling programme during my visit and realised that we had a unique opportunity to be able to offer the children an event like this.
“I run a business across Chester, Wirral and Liverpool and it’s fantastic to be able offer something back to the community.
“I hope the children had a great day out, whilst learning key skills that will stay with them for life.”
The children also enjoyed a range of fun craft activities thanks to Wirral’s The Creation Station.
Jessica and Alfie Edge came along to the event from Chester. Their brother Dylan suffers from a rare chromosomal condition called pataus syndrome and accesses the services of Claire House Children’s Hospice.
Mum Claire said: “Claire House gives us support as an entire family and the opportunity to spend loads of time together.
“Caring for Dylan takes a lot of time and energy and it’s wonderful that at events like this, his brother and sister can have everyone’s undivided attention and get to meet other children whose families are in the same situation as ours.
“It also meant my husband Stuart and I got to take Dylan to New Brighton for the day and spend some quality time with him.”
Claire House play specialist, Siân Marland, was also at the event.
“The families we care for love swimming and we’re lucky enough to have a hydrotherapy pool at the hospice that children can use for physiotherapy and playtimes,” she said.
“Puddle Ducks have given our siblings the chance to forget about the worries of having a poorly brother or sister and have fun in the water, as well as learn some brilliant skills for water safety.
“It’s always fantastic to see the kids enjoying themselves and everyone at Claire House would like to thank Puddle Ducks for creating such a memorable event for our families.”