Four Seasons celebrate charity partnership with Durham Otters

Residents and team members at Hollie Hill Care Home were delighted to welcome members of Durham Otters Swimming Club to celebrate their charity partnership.

Four Seasons Health Care have given funds to support Durham Otters through the County Durham Community Foundation (the Foundation) on behalf of their care homes located in County Durham; Abigail Lodge, Barrington Lodge, Brandon Lodge, Brockwell Court, Hollie Hill and Redwell Hills.

Durham Otters Swimming club has been running for over 40 years to give adults and children with special care needs, a safe and friendly environment in which to swim, relax and have fun in a pool. The charity is run entirely by volunteers to help those who can’t swim in public pool sessions for confidence or mobility reasons.

With the support of the Foundation, Four Seasons Health Care have been able to make charitable donations to causes they care about in the region. The Foundation helps hundreds of businesses to direct their donations to community groups locally.

Joining the residents and team members at Hollie Hill to chat about how the funding has benefitted the club were John Chamberlayne, Leader and Chairman of Durham Otters, his wife Kirstine, Secretary and Poolside Organiser, members Kieran Blair who lives with autism and dyspraxia and his mum, Mel, who is a wheelchair user along with Sophie O’Connor from the Foundation.

John said: “We were delighted to visit the people living and working at Hollie Hill Care Home and say thank you for the funding to help keep Durham Otters going. Our sessions give adults and children the opportunity to enjoy swimming or water play and socialising with easy access to a shallow pool, a range of swimming aids and one-to-one support where needed. We’re always looking for volunteers to help at the pool or with transporting our members to our venue in the centre of Durham and would love to hear from anyone who can help.”

Kieran, aged 15, has been attending Durham Otters sessions for 8 years and said: “I really enjoy it as I can just be myself without judgement and everyone who helps out is very friendly. If it wasn't for John and Kirstine, Otters wouldn't exist and I wouldn't be as confident in the water.”

Mel, his mum, added: “When Kieran started Otters he was scared to even get in the water and now he has so much confidence and swimming ability due to the support. I like the fact Otters is in a pool where no one else can see so I feel confident getting the support I need in and out of the water.  I’d like to say thank you so much to John and Kirstine for making a safe space for all ages, abilities and body shape to feel comfortable and enjoy the water.”

Home Manager, Pippa Collins, said: “Our residents were so pleased to meet some of the Durham Otters and find out more about how the club helps people to enjoy their special swimming sessions. We are delighted to support the club who are such a valuable part of our local community.”

Sophie O’Connor, Fund Manager at the Foundation, said: “It’s the best part of my job to be able to see the grants we make in action like this. Four Seasons Health Care choosing to support a local community group like the Otters means the community thrives and at the Foundation, our mission is to create as many of these types of connections as possible, so businesses can direct their charitable giving to local causes that really matter.”

Four Seasons Health Care is one of the UK’s largest independent health care providers with care homes across the UK providing long-term and respite residential, nursing and dementia care for older people. Find a Four Seasons care home near you.

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