After over 10 years in the leisure industry Mike Caffrey has launched his private swim school with the support of St Helens Chamber and Enterprise Hub.

Alpha Swim provides fun and effective aquatic training programmes for children and adults starting from 18 months. Mike’s classes are tailored to the needs of his swimmers, offering a personal approach with a commitment to quality.

Mike is putting his decade of industry knowledge and expertise to good use following five years in Dubai managing his own swimming programme. On his return to the UK Mike decided to set up his own business having identified a shortage of quality teaching programmes in the area.

Having been referred to St Helens Chamber through their Starting Point employment service, Mike was assigned a dedicated Business Coach, Steve Mather, who worked with him to create a solid business plan.

Mike also attended Be Your Own Boss events and Business Essentials workshops, both of which equipped him for self-employment.

Mike said: “It’s been a whirlwind since my first meeting with the Chamber’s Start-up Team.
“Every time I meet with my Business Coach I leave with fresh ideas and a renewed vigor for pushing forward with my business.

“I’ve got a lot of experience in the industry so I had a good idea about what works and what doesn’t, but the advice from the Chamber has helped me put this into a thorough plan. It’s given me structure and the confidence to know that I could take the leap to full time self-employment.”

Since starting his swimming school Mike is teaching four days a week, with over 50 regular clients, and hopes to expand into a new venue in the coming months.

Adrian Ellis, Business Start-up Manager at St Helens Chamber, said: “Mike came to us with a very strong idea of what he wanted his business to be. We’re delighted to have helped him formalise his ideas and launch his business full time and we’re excited to see how Alpha Swim continues to grow in the coming months.”

Mike added: “I would highly recommend the Chamber’s Business Start-up support. It’s quality advice from business experts and it’s been invaluable for me, especially the one-to-one time with my Business Coach.

“The Chamber’s support empowered me to come out of work and pursue self-employment and I don’t think the business would be as far ahead as it is right now without their support.”
St Helens Chamber is part of Enterprise Hub, the enterprise gateway for business start-up support in Merseyside. Offering expert advice and support to anyone thinking about starting a business including help to:

  • Understand the process of starting a business
  • Research a business idea
  • Build a comprehensive business plan
  • Develop a marketing plan
  • Create financial forecasts to understand the costs of running your business and potential income
  • Identify sources of finance to get started

Enterprise Hub is funded by the European Regional Development Fund. For more information about the support available email us on or ring us on 0151 706 8113