After nearly 40 years with Grantham Life Saving Club, it was about time that Joan Lincoln, Brian Hubbard and Mel Fulcher were honoured at Grantham is Great.
Named joint winners of the Service to Sport award, the Journal spoke to them further about their involvement.
How did you all become involved with the club?
Joan: We joined under different circumstances within months of each other. The late Peggy Fryer was running the training side of the club virtually on her own. As membership grew she looked to enrol us. Mel was a trainer with the swimming club. Brian had been taught to swim by Peggy later in life and wanted to expand on it. And I came when my son joined the club - I was a Red Cross first aid trainer so brought over those skills. From there it has just gone on.
What’s the club like now?
Mel: We have 110 members, with the youngest aged seven and the oldest 82. Our sessions at the Meres start at 7.30pm every Wednesday with those between seven and 12 learning water safety, self-rescue, how to rescue others, or at least call for help, and a bit of CPR. The older ones then build on these core skills.
Joan: They move up through bronze, silver and gold medallions for life saving, and can also gain still water, open water and the National Pool Lifeguard Qualifications.
Brian: Pool lifeguards are about immediate response, but a background in the core skills makes you stop, think and look.
Mel: They can assess the situation, recognise casualties, plan what they’re going to do, and put that plan into action. It becomes automatic.
What are the rewards?
Mel: To see children having fun and learning some very useful skills. And it’s affordable. We don’t need to make a profit - none of us get paid - so we can offer membership to kids for £66 a year. We also provide a lot of the lifeguards for pools and hotels in the area, and train swimming teachers for schools.
Brian: We’ve always had a little joke that the more people we train, if we ever keel over, the odds are one of them will be around! But if we teach them to keep themselves safe, that’s sufficient. Anything else is a bonus.
* To get involved, call the club’s administrator Diane on 07961067784 or email firstname.lastname@example.org