Ellie Bamber: Becoming a volunteer
My family originally joined my local swimming club Glossop Amateur Swimming Club because it had a disability section (the High Peak Sharks) and my younger sister wasn’t coping with swimming lessons. The swimming club provided a more relaxed session that catered for all, from beginners to elite swimmers and everyone in between, integrating disabled swimmers.
I swam once a week, but then started to attend more sessions and began helping on poolside at the age of 14. I continued to help, taking both my Level 1 and Level 2 Teaching Aquatics when I was old enough.
Ellie’s volunteering roles
I am currently a swimming teacher, my favourite class to teach is the new beginners as I find it so rewarding when they realise that they can swim for the first time. I have also taken the Module 1 Team Managers, and enjoy taking the younger swimmers at Glossop ASC to novice events and the High Peak Sharks to MENCAP, Special Olympics and Para event.
As my own swimming progressed I joined the North West Disability Swim Squad (now Manchester and North West Disability) for specialist training and now help both with coaching and team managing at events. I am now also the membership secretary. I also joined Satellites of Macclesfield when I was 16 as I became classified as a disabled swimmer, for top up training where I have also helped out on the hub club assessment days.
I joined the ASA National Youth Forum back in 2013, I am on the Glossop ASC committee and have recently set up the Glossop ASC Youth Forum.
What made Ellie dedicate time to volunteering?
I always believe it’s not what you can’t do, it’s what you CAN DO!
For some children this can be getting in the water and blowing bubbles for the first time and for others it can be swimming a personal best in the 200m fly. Whatever the achievement I feel honoured and proud to be a part of it.
Volunteering and swimming has helped me meet some inspirational people and has helped me gain so much insight and determination. It has also influenced my choice of course and ultimately my career, because seeing what disabled swimmers can achieve has made me want to help more people achieve in life, which is why I choose to study Occupational therapy at university.
The more I progress in my swimming career, the more I want to continue to actively volunteer in grass roots swimming, encouraging participation and enjoyment in the pool. As a late developer within more elite competitive swimming, I spent a lot of time as a younger swimmer with volunteer coaches and without those coaches believing and supporting me I wouldn’t have been able to progress though the sport and achieve everything that I have done some far.
Find out more about volunteering
If you have been inspired by Ellie Bamber and her journey as a volunteer and want to get more involved, head to our expression of interest form to tell us a bit more about yourself. If you’d like to access volunteer training visit our training and development section to see what’s on offer.
If you have a general enquiry and would like to speak to someone directly, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help!