Dawn makes a big splash, after qualifying as a swimming teacher

Dawn makes a big splash, after qualifying as a swimming teacher

A member of the Pickering and Ferens Homes team, who used to swim competitively for Yorkshire, has just qualified as a swimming teacher in a bid to improve the health and well-being of the over-60s.

Dawn Wainman, who is an Intensive Housing Management Officer at Pickering and Ferens Homes, could well be found blowing a whistle or carrying flotation devices as she goes about her usual job doing home visits to residents.

The grandmother-of-four, who lives in Greatfield Estate, is encouraging residents at Pickering and Ferens Homes’ 1,200 properties to take up swimming in order to address a whole range of health and well-being issues. The swimming group will be set up with a view to opening it up to the wider community of older people in the city in the longer term.

Mrs Wainman underwent her training at Ennerdale Leisure Centre and has achieved the Amateur Swimming Association Level 1 and 2 in Teaching Aquatics. It’s a personal achievement that she wants to share the benefits of with residents of Pickering and Ferens Homes too

Committed to the charity’s vision and values, Dawn took it upon herself to develop skills that will benefit her employer’s health and well-being agenda. Now she has very kindly offered to help establish a swimming club for the residents of Pickering and Ferens Homes. Residents of all ages and abilities are being asked to come forward and register their interest for the club, so that plans can be made to establish regular meetings. Those who don’t live in a Pickering and Ferens Homes property are also welcome to express their interest in taking part.

“I’ve been swimming since I was a young child,” said Dawn. “I used to swim competitively at Yorkshire level and carried on until I was about 38, but then gave up after becoming a Masters swimmer. I even taught my four grandchildren how to swim.

“I’ve always wanted to do the teaching qualification and, having given up competitively swimming 20 years ago, I decided to get back into it and do the course.

“I did have in the back of my mind that this is something which could benefit Pickering and Ferens Homes’ residents as health and well-being issues are high up on our agenda.

“A few residents have already been in touch to say they would be interested in meeting up for a regular leisurely swim – not necessarily in a lesson format, but just as an opportunity to swim and socialise with other residents.”

Claire Warren, chief executive of Pickering and Ferens Homes, said: “It’s so rewarding to see that one of our team members has really taken Pickering and Ferens Homes’ vision and values to heart.

“The health and well-being benefits of an activity such as swimming are enormous, not just from a fitness point of view but also in terms of addressing loneliness and isolation issues – ultimately getting older people out of their own homes interacting with others

“The fact that Dawn has taken it upon herself to bring older people together to swim socially can only have a positive impact for our residents. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate her on her achievement.”