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20 May 16

Affinity Water gives it some elbow grease for Give and Gain day

In late May, Heron Lake in Hythe End, Wraysbury opened its gates to a group of volunteers from Affinity Water for the international ‘Give and Gain’ day promoted by ‘Business in the Community’.

Every year, this international volunteering day encourages companies world wide to give up some of their time to help support charitable causes and vulnerable groups.

Heron Lake has been leased by Affinity Water on a long-term basis to the British Disabled Water Ski and Wakeboard Association, a charity that makes it possible for people with disabilities to enjoy water sports that otherwise would not be accessible for them.

The Association also specialise in working with charities such as Help for Heroes and Mencap which attracts members from across the UK.

The upkeep of the lake is not government funded and relies solely on public donations and support from local businesses. On the day, volunteers from Affinity Water helped the ‘Heron lake family’ carry out repairs such as sanding down and re-varnishing benches, litter picking and weeding. Some volunteers even had the opportunity to have a go at some of the water sports on offer.

Anna Jarmolinska-Nowak, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager said: “As a community focused water company we are delighted to be able to provide additional help with the upkeep and access improvements to Heron Lake. We have been supporting the Association for over 20 years through a free provision of Heron Lake’s premises and access to water. The lake represents a place where restrictions are forgotten and freedom is regained.”

Robin Nicholls, Vice Chairman has been a volunteer at Heron Lake for over 39 years. He said:

“I have been with Heron Lake since the foundation started. What we offer is unique, we can work with people who have lost limbs and have seated skis for wheelchair users. The most fulfilling part is seeing the way water sports can change people’s mental attitude in such a short amount of time. It changes their lives and they realise they are capable of anything.”

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