Tips from generous Bargain Booze customers have thrown a lifebelt to a swim school for disabled children. Paddles Swim School, which operates at South Moorlands Leisure Centre, was in danger of closing after it was forced to close during the coronavirus lockdown. But customers of Bargain Booze in Cheadle, which also closed, but launched a delivery service, have raised more than £300, bringing Paddles back from the brink.
Tips from generous Bargain Booze customers have thrown a lifebelt to a swim school for disabled children.
Paddles Swim School, which operates at South Moorlands Leisure Centre, was in danger of closing after it was forced to close during the coronavirus lockdown.
But customers of Bargain Booze in Cheadle, which also closed, but launched a delivery service, have raised more than £300, bringing Paddles back from the brink.
Swim teacher Anna Lavan, has been volunteering for Bargain Booze’s Nicola Cooper and Christine Broad, since the lockdown began in March.
Anna said: “I go every Wednesday morning and volunteer because with the lockdown their orders have been bigger than ever so I said I’d come in to help as they’ve raised money for Paddles before and this was my thank you back to them.
“I didn’t realise they were collecting again. People have been giving little donations and they’ve collected more than £350.
“It’s absolutely brilliant. It was touch-and-go whether I would be able to keep Paddles going. There was a moment when I didn’t know if it could carry on.
“The costs are very high. It’s not just hire of the swimming pool, but I have teachers who I pay and a whacking great insurance bill as the children are severely disabled.
“I’m self-employed so I don’t take a wage from Paddles, but it has been really tight since the lockdown. I was down to the last few pennies.
“This money is just amazing. It will help me get my insurance and memberships paid and ready to start again whenever we are able to.
“I am indebted to Nic and Chris. They are salt of the earth, community-minded people and Cheadle is an incredibly generous town.
“We have 30 children from as far away as Lichfield, Birmingham and Manchester come to Paddles because this doesn’t happen anywhere else. It needs to continue and this money will make sure it does. It’s just wonderful.”
Nicola and Christine at Bargain Booze launched a free delivery service for people who have been shielding and self-isolating during the coronavirus lockdown.
However, many customers have offered contributions to cover delivery costs, raising £375 which the pair are donating to Paddles.
Nicola said: “When we’ve been taking deliveries and people have said ‘keep the change’ or offered to give us a bit for petrol, we put it on one side as we offered free delivery to help people during the lockdown.
“We decided to donate it to Paddles and we have had some people make quite large overpayments because they knew that was where the money was going.
“It’s unique, there isn’t anything else like it and Anna is such a lovely person, she’s brilliant, so we were really pleased to be able to help.
“We’ve also donated £100 to Sharon Burnett at The Mill who has been fund-raising for the NHS and had collection tubs for another lady who is doing a fund-raising walk.
“We always try to support local causes.”
Paddles will now return to South Moorlands Leisure Centre when Government guidelines allow.
Anna added: “I have a strategy which I hope will allow us to return to the pool as soon as possible but it will be dependent on the guidelines the leisure centre have to follow.
“They have always been very supportive, so hopefully we will be able to make it work.”
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