Frequently asked questions

Welcome to your first session as a swimmer with Pimlico Puffins swimming club for people with disabilities. You may be unsure of what to expect, so here are some FAQs for your first session. We really hope you enjoy your first session and come back week after week. Please ask any of the helpers if you have any questions.

What is Pimlico Puffins?

The Pimlico Puffins swimming club is a voluntary organisation that helps people with disabilities to learn to swim, or improve their swimming and to have fun and gain confidence in the water. We currently have more than 30 swimmers of all ages and a similar number of helpers.

We have the use of both pools at the Queen Mother Sports Centre on Vauxhall Bridge Road SW1V 1EL, close to Victoria station, every Monday night (except bank holidays).

We also have regular social events for swimmers and helpers, an annual outing in the summer and a gala with other local disabled swimming clubs.

How can I get to the Queen Mother Sports Centre?

The Westway Transport Service kindly provide a free bus service for swimmers in the Westminster area (please speak to Corinne for details). Otherwise, we ask that swimmers make their own way to the pool, either via the tube or train (to Victoria station) or by bus to Victoria bus station or Vauxhall Bridge Road.

What time do I need to be there?

Please arrive by 7.45pm on poolside. The pool closes to the public at 8pm and we swim from 8pm until 9pm. We then get showered and changed and then enjoy a chat over a drink of ribena and a biscuit until 9.30pm. Remember to tell reception that you are swimming with Puffins so you do not have to pay an entry charge.

What shall I bring with me?

Please arrive on poolside in your swim suit. Please bring along your swimmer form, signed by your doctor. You may also want to bring a swimming hat, goggles and towel onto poolside. We strongly recommend you put all of your belongings in a locker and you will require your own padlock. There’s time for a quick shower afterwards, so you may also want to bring toiletries.

What will I be doing?

We will begin by asking you about your swimming experience – can you float on your own in the water, can you swim out of your depth, what would you like to learn etc? We will then introduce you to an experienced helper who will swim with you on a one-to-one basis to help you improve your technique, confidence and encourage you to progress in a relaxed environment. Our helpers can provide support in the water and we also use swimming aids to help give you freedom and confidence. If you have a carer or a family member with you, they are more than welcome to swim with you too.

Where can I find out further information?

Please contact us at with any questions you may have.