Underwater tea party in Thurmaston raises £1,000 for Children in Need

AN underwater tea party at the bottom of a Leicester swimming pool has brewed up more than £1,000 for Children in Need.

Roundhill Sub Aqua Club, a branch of the British Sub-Aqua Club, (BSAC), had around 20 club divers taking part in the wacky event at Roundhill Academy Pool, Thurmaston.

Club trainee diver, Melissa Bracey, came up with the plan for the event while other members quickly agreed to join in with the fundraising fun event.

Melissa, 18, a child care student at Leicester College, wanted to organise a Children in Need fundraising event and says although she had heard of tea parties organised in some pretty strange places she’d never heard of one underwater before.

She said: “I only recently joined Roundhill Sub Aqua Club and really enjoy it. I am currently working toward qualifying as a BSAC Ocean Diver and thought we could organise something in the pool we use for training that would be a bit different.

“We were invited by the BBC to a party at Leicester to explain on air what we did. Sixteen club members went.

“Some of the divers wore costumes and I made Pudsey Bear eye bandages which we wore over our facemasks. It was a real fun event and, although we haven’t got a total yet we know it’s more than £1,000 which we have raised for what is a very worthy cause.”

She added; “Personally I raised more than £100 through family and friends sponsoring me and I know other club members have done really well too so we will be able to hand over a really good cheque.”

BSAC is the national governing body for UK scuba diving and has family-friendly and sociable clubs, like Roundhill, all across the country and abroad. This year is the diamond jubilee of the organisation which was founded in 1953.

BSAC Chief Executive, Mary Tetley, said: “Our clubs are great at raising money for charity and always come up with the most unique ways of doing it. Roundhill’s underwater tea party is no exception and is a terrific idea of Melissa’s.

“They have raised a fantastic amount of money and should be really proud of their Children in Need efforts.”

Roundhill Sub Aqua Club Diving Officer, Carole Gilbert, says club members have really got behind the event.

She said: “Melissa, who is one of the club trainee divers, has done really well to come up with a good fundraising idea that all club members can take part in.

“It was loads of fun. We had a table cloth laid out on the bottom of the pool and had cup and saucers and plates for cakes. It did get a bit messy and some of the table manners on show were a bit disappointing!”

Carole says Roundhill Sub Aqua Club is a really friendly club with 27 active members.

She said: “We would love to have more members and welcome anyone along who wants to have a try-dive in the pool. Our youngest member is 16 and our oldest 68 so there is a really good mix and members come from all walks of life, we have paramedics, office workers and financial advisers, amongst others.

“We meet every Thursday at 8pm. One week in the pool for training and the next in a classroom for lectures and theory lessons. We dive all year round using Stoney Cove Dive Centre a great deal as it is on our doorstep.

“However, we have our own rib and get down to the south coast as often as we can while seven club members have just returned from a dive trip to Scapa Flow.

“We also organise a few foreign dive trips to places like the Red Sea when we can so there is always plenty going on. And the club has a really active social side too.

“I’d encourage anyone interested in diving, whether as a complete novice or any qualified divers who are looking for a club in the area, to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!”

To learn more about Roundhill Sub Aqua Club visit www.roundhillsac.org.uk and to learn more about the British Sub Aqua Club visit www.bsac.com

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