Channel 4’s You Deserve This House featured another Special Olympics volunteer, with a new episode aired on Monday 16 July at 11am highlighting Electric Eels club founder and head coach, Pauline Walker.
Presenter Amanda Lamb (A Place in the Sun, My Flat Pack Home) and her team of volunteers completed a secret home makeover of Pauline's house in record time, while Pauline was treated to a weekend getaway with her sister in Oxford.
“It was a smashing surprise to have been nominated for Channel 4’s You Deserve This House, for 28 years in disability swimming!” Pauline exclaims.
“I had a wonderful time with my sister at The Randolph Hotel in Oxford and am thrilled with the make-over of my Lounge, Bathroom and Study. I was so overcome by the whole thing - it is absolutely stunning. I have a copy of the video and cry each time I watch it!”
Her son, Paralympic GB swimmer and two time gold medallist Graham Edmunds, echoes her sentiments, commenting, “From what I heard, it was amazing and although mum said she was completely speechless she hasn’t stopped talking about it! By all accounts, there were lots of tears. She can’t believe any of it, let alone what the guys did in such a short period of time.”
Pauline has always been around swimming and sport, as her two boys were avid swimmers. Before founding her own swimming club for intellectual disabled athletes, Pauline worked at a school for kids with significant behavioural issues from broken homes, and has volunteered for over 20 years with Special Olympics Reading Cygnets Swim Club.
She was so inspired by her time with the Cygnets Swim Club and her interaction with Special Olympics, that she created her own club called the Electric Eels, specifically for people with Downs Syndrome. The club quickly became a huge success, and now counts with several Junior and European record holders among its ranks.
In addition to her role as director of the Electric Eels club, Pauline also serves as a house mistress and surrogate mother to 93 boys at the Oratory preparatory boarding school.