Puddle Ducks is hosting their annual charity pyjama week which sees the babies and children who swim with Puddle Ducks completing a lesson plan focused on personal survival skills in the water. Throughout West Yorkshire around 500 children will be swimming and raising funds in Pyjama Week.
This year Puddle Ducks West Yorkshire is raising funds for Reach, Reach supports children with upper limb differences to live a life without limits.
Every year, 100 babies are born with an upper limb difference; everything from missing or fused fingers to having one – or both – arms missing. This can be limited to the limbs, but may children have more complex associated health issues too.
Reach was set up to support families and children by providing advice and a community where families can share experiences and kids can make friends.
Fund-raising goes towards:
• providing bursaries to pay for adaptations to bikes, cars and sporting equipment so Reach kids never have to miss out, or to pay for life-changing experiences and activities
• an annual family weekend where families can get together, hear advice and success stories and where the kids take part in sporting and adventure activities
• an annual outdoor pursuits camp where children can challenge themselves and make friends that last a lifetime
• a network of local branches who organise social events and activities throughout the year so families can find support in their local area
One of Puddle Ducks’ super little swimmers Kitty Wilmshurst was born without her lower arm, her Mum Liz is on the board of trustees at Reach and this is their story:
We found out that Kitty was missing her lower left arm at the 20-week scan. We were shocked to say the least – it’s not something we’d heard of before – and we went away feeling worried, as doctors told us a missing limb could be a sign of more sinister underlying health problems. At this point, we spent hours talking about how we would cope and luckily, found Reach. Straight away, head office staff were on hand to offer reassurance and advice, and we joined the charity’s closed Facebook group where parents share advice and experiences.
Luckily, Kitty’s arm turned out to be the only issue and by the time she was born, we’d managed to come to terms with it so much that I forgot to look at her arm when she arrived!
In the 18 months since, she’s continued to amaze us, adapting to any everyday task with ease. We started taking her to Puddle ducks when she was 10 weeks old, and so far, we haven’t found anything she can’t do. She’s incredibly confident in the water and we love the time we spend with her in the pool. She knows the ‘three Puddle ducks’ song by heart and demands we sing it in the bath too.
I know there will be things in life that are harder for Kitty but by being part of Reach, I know that she can overcome these hurdles with a bit of determination and the great examples older Reach kids set. And if she keeps on with her swimming, who knows… Paralympic gold in 2032?
We will be holding a raffle in aid of Reach and have had some fantastic prizes donated from local businesses including The Rainbow Factory Farsley, PJ’s Health & Fitness Village, Mark Riley Hairdressers Waterloo, Tharavadu restaurant, Munchkins playgym Morley and Mini Me Time Bradford & South Leeds.