Volunteer of the Year Finalist – Delyth Jones

It seems Delyth Jones lives and breathes to be at the pool:

“Well, yes. A lot of people do say I live at the place,” she laughs.

Her time commitment rivals that of her full-time job in the NHS. She is poolside every day apart from Saturday and when she is actually at home, she is armed with phone, laptop and paperwork:

“There’s always something going on – official documents for galas, entry forms, organising events…” The list goes on.

It all started when her children began swimming lessons and progressed into the club:

“I started helping out and one thing led to another. Now 12 years later, I’m still there. The club is really on the up, increasing in members, and I love being a part of that. We’re like a big family really,” she explains.

But all clubs have their ups and downs and 12 months ago, the Dragons’ coach left. Finding it hard to recruit a new skipper, Delyth made it her mission to keep things going:

“I decided if it was the last thing I did before the club closed, I had to do everything possible to keep it ticking over until we found a new coach.”

She was instrumental in keeping the swimmers motivated and interested until they found a new head honcho in January this year.

Delyth also takes a lead on the Denbighshire Development Team (DDT). Made up of the four swimming clubs in the county, she arranges training at Stockport several times a year as well as competition in Sheffield every October:

“I don’t think you ever realise all the things you do, not unless you were actually asked to sit down and list them. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

“To see the kids grow in confidence is so special. When they first walk poolside for a competition and in front of a crowd, you can see they’re nervous. But after the first few times, they’re so self-assured.

“And they always want to do better next time. That’s why it’s so amazing – they are always striving to achieve a goal.”

And while daughter Lois, now 17, plans to retire from the club in a year or so, Delyth shows no signs of hanging up her clipboard just yet:

“No way! I absolutely love what I do. I can’t walk away from that!”