Charity offers a ‘splashing’ good time

A leading West Midlands charity is offering visually impaired young adults in the region the opportunity to learn to swim during a free eight-week course of lessons.

Adults aged 19 to 25, who are partially sighted, can sign up to the free sessions which are being held as part of the ‘ActivEyes’ project set up by Wolverhampton based charity, Beacon Centre for the Blind.

ActivEyes supports adults who suffer from sight loss to take part in a broad range of leisure activities in a safe environment to raise confidence levels and encourage independent living.

The hour long swimming sessions are being held at the Bert Williams Leisure Centre in Bilston every Wednesday at midday. Lessons kick off on April 9th for eight weeks, but places are limited so people are encouraged to book early to avoid disappointment.

Tim Jukes, from the Beacon Centre for the Blind, said: “Swimming is a fantastic sport. It relieves stress, soothes your mind and is a great all round exercise.

“It’s a skill that everyone should have the opportunity to learn and we wanted to give people who have sight problems the chance to give it a go in a safe and supervised environment.”

The Beacon Centre is working with Sportivate to offer the free lessons – a £56 million Lottery funded London 2012 legacy project that gives more young people the chance to discover a sport that they love.

Tim continues: “With more than 167,000 people in the West Midlands living with sight problems, it is vitally important that local businesses ensure their facilities are accessible for people who have a disability.

“It’s absolutely great that businesses such as the Bert Williams Leisure Centre take the time to understand the needs of people with sight loss and give them the confidence to try something new.

“We’re working hard to develop links with local leisure and sport centres, entertainment venues, bars and coffee shops across the West Midlands to encourage them to set up sessions and social groups for visually impaired people.”

Beacon Centre for the Blind helps people with sight loss in the West Midlands live fuller and more independent lives. The charity offers local people the finest facilities and support, from providing permanent accommodation in Wolverhampton, to advising people about the specialist equipment available, to practical advice on living with sight loss skills.

To find out more about the swimming lessons call Tim Jukes on 01902 880 111 or email