MBE for Lincs Inspire Swim School Instructor

Lincs Inspire swim school instructor and Immingham fundraiser, Mary Clark, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s 2017 Honours.

Mary, who has taught thousands of children to swim in the local area through her work at Immingham Swimming Pool and Pilgrim’s Swimming Club, has been recognised for her lifelong charity work and services to the local community. She will be presented with her MBE by a member of the Royal family at Buckingham Palace on 7th March.

Mary will be taking three guests to Buckingham Palace; her husband Brian, her son Christopher and best friend Lynne. Speaking of the honour Mary said: “This MBE is for everyone, for everyone who has been part of our lives, to help us achieve what we’ve achieved, but also what we’ve been able to give to many people.”

“I’ve had lots of smiles about it and the nicest thing is the amount of people who’ve contacted us, who we might have not heard from for a while who said it’s just truly deserved and how wonderful it is.”

Mary, who has received lots of congratulatory cards, emails and texts, admits ‘it is nice to be recognised’ but is extremely grateful to those who have supported her along the way, as she explained ‘without them I couldn’t of been recognised with an MBE.’

Alongside Mary’s prolific charity work in the local community, where she’s raised money for Wish Upon A Star, Light in Africa, the Children’s Hospice and many more. Mary has also organised the charity book shelves within Immingham Swimming Pool and the original Grimsby Leisure Centre and regularly restocks the book shelves at both facilities. Mary said: “Through Lincs Inspire allowing me to have book cases at Grimsby Leisure Centre and Immingham Swimming Pool we’ve raised over £3,000 just from the bookcases; second-hand books, puzzles, odds and ends that come in that are brand new that I put out, and we’ve given money to many local charities, like Parkinson’s, Motor Neurone, Muscular Dystrophy,  RNLI.

 “It’s amazing what money is coming through and how it adds up! But again, without the support of Lincs Inspire, we wouldn’t be able to raise the money.” This year Mary, alongside Lincs Inspire Operations Manager, Rose Kelly, plan to sponsor a child in Africa with the money raised through each book case.

Mary is also instrumental in Drowning Prevention Week which is a national campaign, run by the RLSS-UK, and aims to promote water safety messages and help reduce incidents of drowning. In North East Lincolnshire local school children are invited to make a splash by taking part in free water safety sessions or school assemblies delivered by Lincs Inspire. Mary explained: “We already have many schools signed up to sessions as part of Drowning Prevention Week, but schools can request a classroom-based visit or a visit to our pools at any time. Our commitment to water safety is ongoing all year-round.”

Sue Wells, Lincs Inspire Chief Executive, said: “We are all very proud of Mary’s achievements, both in the local community, and also for Lincs Inspire.  Her MBE is very well deserved and  reflects the vast number of lives, both local and international that Mary has touched and improved.” 

When asked what her life would be like without fundraising, Mary replied: ‘I can’t imagine what life would be like.’ The benefits of Mary’s fundraising and charity work, while clear to see in the local community, have provided Mary with lots of fond memories and lasting friendships, she explained: “It’s a sense of being part of so many people’s lives and that without all those people, well I would say for me, life would be very dull.”