Hills District Independent JUNE 2017 #24 - Page 8

local life my favourite place: Denise Cain by Lorraine Clifford Denise Cain has been helping people for decades through her various support roles, but these days she focuses on teaching children with disabilities how to swim. Cherrybrook Rainbow Club is her favourite place to be every Sunday afternoon during class time. Denise, from Kellyville, started swimming herself when she was about ten years old and went on to represent her native North Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in the pool. As far as life skills go, swimming has always been a priority. “When my three children were old enough I took them straight to the pool. Knowing how to swim can save a lot of children’s lives – you cannot take your eyes off a child for a minute!” says Denise. Denise is a bright and gung ho lady in her early seventies who tells a good tale. When I had coffee with her recently she took great delight in telling me how she ‘wanted to be so much more than a mum’ so joined the army as a paramedic – as you do! “I used to drive these huge ancient ambulances around in war zones to get to the men on the field,” Denise smiles animatedly. Off the field she spent lots of time rehabilitating soldiers and reckons that moving in water was one of the best therapies for them. Once in Australia, Denise worked in aged care and then for a not for profit organisation that supported people with a disability and their families. “I particularly remember working with a non-verbal child in a wheelchair. Eventually we got her in the pool and it was wonderful to see her progress to moving and walking in the water, and out of it,” Denise tells me. Denise gained more AUSTSWIM certificates over time and was nominated for an award last year by them for her work with children and youth. Classes at the Rainbow Club are a mix of one on one and small groups and ages range from about three years old to eighteen. Mainstream classes are unsuitable for most of these children and Denise takes an individual approach with each student. “Apart from the great kids, Jackie Cole and all the other staff at Cherrybrook work so hard. The parents are wonderful too and are so grateful for what we do,” says Denise. “Recently a parent said he never thought his son would be at a level where he could join his friends in a local pool. This is what the Rainbow Club is all about and what makes my Sundays very special.” Many parents cannot afford the class fees so the club are constantly fund raising for money and equipment. Denise’s 15 year old grandson, Matthew, is currently racking up his Duke of Edinburgh program volunteer hours at the Rainbow Club with his Gran and will take his licence when he is 16. Denise proudly showing her certificates. Photo: Kathryn Johnston. The club must be doing great things as Jackie, club coordinator, won an AUSTWIM award at the end of last month - congratulations Jackie! The club are always looking for instructors, donations and support, contact Jackie on 0413 124 408 if you would like to help. Business as Usual Let us help you create a truly unforgettable wedding! We create beautiful wedding designs & arrangements to mark your special occasion. Bibis Warehouse NOW OPEN Unit 3/ 64 Drummond St South Windsor Opening Hours 10am-2pm week days & Sat 9am-12pm or by appointment We have everything you need for the perfect wedding! p: 4587 7681 p: 4587 7681 m: 0438 66 99 66 Shop 1, 483 George St, South Windsor f: 4577 4872 e: weddings@angelsflorist.com.au www.angelsflorist.com.au 8 ISSUE 24 // JUNE 2017 Flower Arches • Table Centrepieces • Bouquets • Artifical Flowers www.hdinews.com.au THE hills INDEPENDENT