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Dementia Swimming Sessions at West Craven Sports Centre

Published: Monday, 17th January 2022

Pendle Leisure

West Craven Sports Centre in Barnoldswick is re-introducing its dementia-friendly swimming sessions from Tuesday, January 25th.

This joint initiative between Pendle Leisure Trust and Dementia Positive Pendle aims to help people living with dementia continue to do things they enjoy.

The swimming sessions were first introduced – and proved very successful – in February 2020, but were short lived due to the COVID pandemic outbreak the following month.

Now the swimming sessions are to restart and be held every Tuesday between 11.30am and 12.45pm with the café at the Barnoldswick sports centre opening before and after the swimming sessions for anyone living with dementia - and their carers - to meet for a chat and a cuppa.

Special clear and simple signage will be used during the sessions to help visitors find their way around the facility easily.

Julia O’Neill, Pendleside Hospice's Day Services and Outpatients Manager and member of Dementia Positive Pendle, said: “We know people living with dementia start to disengage with the outside world and doing something they have always enjoyed becomes a lot harder.

“With Dementia Positive Pendle, health organisations such as Pendle Leisure Trust, and the local council, we want to make our community inclusive and unite people who are living with dementia, helping and encouraging them to be active in a non-threatening way.

“We do not want to isolate these people, we want to offer some therapeutic respite and West Craven Sports Centre is the perfect environment, so when they get in the water they remember how they used to enjoy swimming.”

West Craven Sports Centre Manager, Sam Bowden, added: “We had a fantastic response to these sessions last time, so we are hoping they will prove just as popular again and people will make use of this unique service we are offering to a group who are sometimes overlooked.”