A swimming club in Bedford has picked up a national award in recognition of its youth volunteering.
The Modernian Swimming Club, a community swimming club which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, has been recognised in the 2016 Community Sport and Recreation Awards, winning the Youth Volunteering Award, sponsored by GB Group.
The award was among a number annnounced at the Sport and Recreation Alliance Community Sport and Recreation Awards.
Club member Rebecca Whelan, one of the youth volunteers, collected the award.
The club plans to use the award money to help fund swimming lessons for children who may otherwise not take up swimming and also to help develop more young people into volunteers.
A spokeswoman for the club said: “The club focuses on developing each child’s potential in competitive and non-competitive settings and offers subsidised swimming lessons to children from low socio-economic backgrounds.
“Volunteers working together are what have helped to make the club successful and there are now approximately 60 volunteers lending their support by teaching, coaching and generally helping run the club.”
In 2011, the club established Modernian Crash Course, an innovative volunteer programme designed to involve the club’s younger members. The course encourages young people in the club to volunteer and train to become ASA certified swim helps and to date more than 60 young volunteers have taken part.
The programme is able to deliver a meaningful impact in the community by offering children the chance to learn to swim through subsidised lessons and also provide opportunities for young people to develop new skills.