A care home resident had her wish granted when she took the plunge and went swimming for the first time in decades at Ponds Forge International Leisure Centre.
Eighty-six-year-old Edith is a resident at the Hallamshire Care Home in Sheffield where she takes part in weekly sessions with Motion Exercise, an award-winning social enterprise that designs and delivers interactive, inclusive and fun exercise programmes throughout Sheffield. Working in partnership with Sheffield City Trust Motion aim to make exercise more inclusive to older adults.
Edith absolutely loves her Motion activity sessions and during one exercise which mimics swimming breaststroke she expressed how she used to love swimming and would love to go again as she used to swim in a squad at school and just loved it, “We were a squadron, there were four of us you see,” said Edith.
“It was fantastic, it was the best thing from school, and I really, really miss it,” she added. “I loved it that much I wish I could go now and dive in and have a swim because that is the one thing I miss.”
Edith continued to reminisce how she used to swim at Hillsborough Leisure Centre and King Edwards swimming pool at Broomhall and take part in swimming galas and therefore, Motion Exercise got in touch with Sheffield City Trust to see if they could make Edith’s wish a reality.
Rob Womack, Health, Wellbeing and Partnerships Manager at Sheffield City Trust, said: “When Motion told me Edith’s story and asked if we could help make this happen I was determined to pull out all the stops to make sure Edith got her wish.
“Part of my role is to help those who find it more difficult to access and engage in physical activity and Edith is a perfect example of this, so it was a real pleasure to be able to play a part in fulfilling her wish.”
Using the disabled hoist pool side staff were able to lift Edith and gently lower her into the pool. Edith went for her swim and had a whale of a time. Speaking of her time in the pool Edith said, “I absolutely loved it, it was like I was at school again. As soon as I got in it all came back to me!”
Over the last four years, Motion has delivered recurring sessions to over 400 Motioners in care homes and lunch clubs. “I’ve delivered our Motion Exercise sessions to Edith’s Care Home every week since lockdown in 2020,” said Zeezy, Founder and CEO of Motion Exercise. “It was through chatting to Edith and Vicky, the Activities Coordinator, that we learned about her wish to go swimming. I’m so pleased that we’ve been able to make it happen. I expected Edith to be good at swimming, given her role as ‘Swimming Captain’ while in high school, but even I was impressed with how well she did.”