FEAR – supporting artificially fed families

We have been very lucky to have been given the opportunity to support Kim Purkis from a charity called Face Everything and Rise (FEAR).

Kim is arranging swimming sessions for children, adults and their friends and family who are artificially fed or are receiving treatment via a central line, and previously have not been able to access swimming pools.

The charity has received funding from Sport England and Cash 4 Kids to support affected families to venture to the water. This includes the supply of NHS approved Cath Dry dressings and specialist Drysuits that are crucial for many of the members. 

Individuals can get into the water whilst keeping medical equipment safe, dry, and reducing the risk of infections. For some attendees it’s their first EVER time in a swimming pool!

Kim Purkis commented on the partnership: "When you are artificially fed, accessing swimming becomes extremely difficult for a lot of families. Whether you have to wear specialised Drysuits or have feeding tubes 'on show’, swimming can leave you feeling vulnerable to people staring.

This is why Face Everything and Rise (FEAR) now run monthly swimming events, across England, exclusively for children and adults (and their families) who are artificially fed; providing opportunities for families to swim with confidence and privacy, in a fun environment.

To have a leading Leisure company, such as Places Leisure, now fully support the use of Drysuits across their swimming pools is huge! It now means that no one misses out on the joy of swimming, because of needing to wear a Drysuit in the water. It’s life changing!”The first event was run with the support of Sam Holdaway, Danny Churcher and Ian Souch at Romsey Rapids and included over 100 attendees with some travelling over 150 miles!

Mark Haslam, our Head of Swimming and Sport said, “our partnership with Kim Purkis and FEAR just made sense. We want to bring swimming and more generally, fitness, to everyone we possibly can. Putting the right sessions, instructors, and equipment in place to allow some people to swim for the first time is just fantastic to see. We can’t wait to keep putting on these sessions and expanding them across our pools nationwide.”

Group of people playing in a swimming pool