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28th May, 2022

Community learn-to-swim project will be life-saver

Rob George 9th Jan, 2022

COMMUNITY-minded members of Perryfields Community Association (PCA) have taken the wraps of its latest project and it’s a real life-saver.

The group was launched just over 18 months ago, thanks to volunteers and has with the help of Worcestershire Community Foundation, West Mercia Police, WCT, Young Solutions and the city council already delivered a whole host of successful projects.

Among the successes has been an education project which has helped 16 children from Blessed Edward and Nunnery Wood High Schools prepare for their GCSEs.

PCA chairman and founder Coun Jabba Riaz hopes its latest adventure will make a splash as the group hope to help Worcester residents learn to swim.

“A high proportion of Asian women are unable to swim this is due to several reasons including lack of availability of ladies-only private swimming classes as well as cultural factors,” he said.

“A number of high-profile drownings last year involving kids and parents from Asian backgrounds in open water, has prompted the need for this skill to be delivered.’

Headmaster of the King’s School Gareth Doodes backed the project which will use the school’s swimming pool.

Mr Doodes said: “Swimming is an essential life-skill. We applaud the work of the PCA with this wonderful scheme, potentially saving lives in the years to come.”

Coun James Stanley, chair of Worcester City Council’s Communities Committee, said: “Worcester City Council is very pleased to be supporting this useful and potentially life-saving idea with a grant of £2,600 from our Small Community Grants scheme.

Supt Gareth Morgan, from West Mercia Police, said: “This has gone from strength to strength and has been truly community led. The launch of these classes are just one of a number of examples of activates that are now provided.”

Coun Riaz added: “I am extremely grateful to the city council, who have contributed to this project and the King’s who have been extremely generous in providing their Hawford swimming pool for us to use, for the duration of the project, without which the project would not have got off the ground. I have to also thank the Worcester Community Foundation and West Mercia Police for helping the group find its feet and helping us transform our community.”

In the last year the PCA has been heavily involved in a skills project for the BAME community run by Worcester Community Trust and the Building Block project with three graduates thus far all of whom have obtained their Construction Skills Certification Scheme cards.

It has also been the base to get young people on cyber security courses. Three teenagers have also been placed on apprenticeships and jobs with local employers.

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