Caterpillar ClubThe Caterpillar Club in Merseyside was set up by parents of children with disabilities such as deafness, Down’s Syndrome, autism and epilepsy who experience little social interaction. This club is unique within the local area as it focuses on the siblings and parents as well as those with disabilities.
With the help of the Caterpillar Club, the children learn to play safely in the water with adult and lifeguard supervision while reducing the loneliness and segregation that can unfortunately come hand in hand with a disability. The siblings of these children may often feel they are needed to help care for the additional needs of their brother or sister, but in this monthly session they can learn to develop their tolerance while catering to their own childhood and having fun with the whole family. The parents gain essential support from one another at the same time as encouraging a healthy, social situation for their children.
The grant awarded to the group will be used to hire the local pool exclusively for one hour a month for the duration of a year. Everyone will be able to move according to their own abilities in a situation that would otherwise be too noisy and overwhelming with members of the public also present.
Margaret Gregory, the group’s Fundraising and Event Co-ordinator said: "The Swimathon Foundation Grant will allow the children to improve their confidence, self esteem and physical well-being as well as providing safe access to a swimming pool that would otherwise be unavailable to them and as a small parent led group, this kind of support is so important”.