Saturday 7 June 2014 was a very special day for the Plymouth Drake Foundation, as it got to visit the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Swimming Club in their new home in HMS Drake, Plymouth - a project facilitated through Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity funding.

The club provides swimming lessons and coaching to the children of service personnel from the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines. They also train and develop volunteers from these services to be swimming coaches allowing them to really support the wider community.

Recently the club moved from its old facilities to new state-of-the-art facilities in the Endeavour Centre at HMS Drake. Help for Heroes generously allow the club to use their new swimming pool.

Out with the old

Unfortunately, the new facilities were not equipped with the kit to host races and the swimming aides required to support the young children to swim. Thanks to a grant from the Plymouth Drake Foundation, via The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC), the club has been able to purchase £2,000 worth of new equipment. The equipment ranges from racing flags, which cross the pool, to buoyancy aids, underwater toys and the special baskets required to store it all securely.

Helen Walker from the club said: “This grant has allowed us to make the best possible transition from our old pool to the new, provided us with great equipment to teach to the children, and allowed us to use the subscription money to train up new volunteers and provide more places for the children to learn to swim”.

Craig McWhinnie, CEO of Plymouth Drake Foundation said: “We have a great partnership with the RNRMC. We have seen here that the money we distribute on their behalf has made a massive impact on this club, helping literally hundreds of children from across our city to learn to swim and supporting the development of volunteers from within the Navy and the Marines”.

The RNRM Swimming Club currently provides training to nearly 300 young people and hopes to increase this number over 2014. They are also committed to developing the young people who pass through their club, retaining many of their former students as instructors.