Disability swimming club Dacorum Dolphins returns to the water in Hemel after a year of lockdown

Why not get involved in the Hemel Gazette's Happy Returns feature too?

Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 9:20 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 9:22 am

With society tentatively opening up in line with the Government’s roadmap out of the pandemic, the Hemel Gazette wants to be with our readers every step of the way.

We want to hear your positive stories about how you/your family, your business, your club/society or maybe your sports team is re-emerging from the restrictions which have made the past year so challenging. See information at the end of this story for more details on getting involved.

Here Dacorum Dolphins tells its story

Dacorum Dolphins

For over 40 years, Dacorum Dolphins has provided a fun, welcoming space for people with disabilities to enjoy swimming with their families. By 2020, the club had amassed over 100 members, a team of volunteers and a qualified teacher to help swimmers improve their skills.

Then lockdown happened.

But when restrictions eased and people returned to gyms and pools, many communities were left behind.

Communities like disability swimmers who cannot fit in with the Covid-safety systems of lane swimming. Now, with the backing of Swim England, the club can finally reopen.

Dacorum Dolphins return to the water

Karli-Ann Morgan, club leader, said: “The club is a valuable place for swimmers of all ages and abilities to come and enjoy the water without judgement or pressure.

"We have two pools to ourselves, the main pool and shallow confidence water for little ones. It’s a great place for people to learn, exercise and have fun with family.”

Volunteer helpers both on the poolside and in the water offering support and join in with the games. One-to-one lessons are available for free during the session.

Angela Keen, volunteer swim teacher, said: “Our swimmers have such diverse needs that we fit teaching around them.

Dacorum Dolphins return to the water

"Some have high anxiety or a short attention span, so they come and ask for help on a skill, work on something for a bit then return to play with their families when they’ve had enough.

"It’s an incredibly calm environment and swimmers are progressing really well.”

Sessions run from 5pm till 6pm at Everyone Active Hemel Hempstead.

For more details about joining or to book a taster session contact Karli-Ann through the Facebook group (@DacorumDolphins) or call 07823329138.

> Why not get involved in the Hemel Gazette's Happy Returns feature? We’d be delighted to hear details of how businesses and the community are emerging from the restrictions of the pandemic.

It might be news of a business relaunching, your youth sports team resuming its matches, how your school is coping with the ongoing challenges, how your club or society is ditching Zoom and is looking to meet face-to-face again, a family reunion or celebration which can finally go ahead, or the many other examples of events and activities we all took for granted slowly returning.

This is a great chance to tell your story over the coming weeks and months ahead. Submit 100-300 words to this newspaper on how the pandemic has had an impact, how you’ve kept going and most importantly news of your ‘Happy Return’ when it’s deemed safe.

We’d also love to receive photos of those joyful reunions/reopenings. Please send all details to [email protected]

Here’s a handy reminder of the remaining roadmap steps.

> From May 17, ‘rule of six’ abolished for outdoor gatherings and replaced with a limit of 30 people. Two households can mix indoors - with the rule of six applied in hospitality settings like pubs. Cinemas, hotels, performances and sporting events can reopen. Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions, funerals and wakes.

> From June 21, all legal limits on social contact is intended to be removed, with the final closed sectors of the economy reopened.