Swim Safe sessions in full swing in Tyne and Wear at Sandhaven beach

Lifeboats Media Invite

Media invitation

RNLI/Nathan Williams

Children taking part in a Swim Safe session

Event: Swim Safe interactive water safety sessions at Sandhaven beach.

When: Friday 3 August from 11.30am (with the session running between 12 and 1pm).

Where: Sandhaven beach, South Shields, NE33 2LD.

Opportunity: To film, photograph and interview Swim Safe instructors/representatives during the water safety sessions and chat to some of the young people taking part.

Contact: If you wish to attend please contact Clare Hopps, RNLI Regional Media Officer North East and East, on: 07824 518641 or at: clare_hopps@rnli.org.uk

Swim Safe, the free national outdoor swimming and water safety programme for children, is taking place at Sandhaven beach this week.

The Swim England and RNLI partnership offers free lessons to 7 – 14 year olds teaching children how to swim outdoors and what do if they get into trouble in the water. The sessions are taking place at North Bay in Sandhaven, South Shields until this Saturday (4 August).

Matt Thompson, Swim Safe coordinator for Sandhaven, said: ‘Children love swimming outdoors, but swimming in the sea, rivers or lakes is very different to swimming in a pool, where most children learn. Swim Safe is a free, fun activity that teaches kids lifelong skills that will help them enjoy open water safely.

‘Parents and carers are also encouraged to get involved and find out more about how their children can stay safe at the beach and by the open water. Places are free to book at swimsafe.org.uk and children only need to bring their swim suit and a towel.’

Children aged 7­–­­­14 who can swim at least 25 metres can take part. Wetsuits and swim hats will be provided for the session and all young people will get a free tee-shirt.

Swim England and the RNLI launched Swim Safe in 2013 at a single venue in Cornwall. Now in its sixth year, Swim Safe has grown to include 29 locations across the UK hosting sessions for the public and local schools.

The sessions are delivered by local partners, including community groups, leisure providers and local councils.

Media contacts

RNLI (regional): Clare Hopps, RNLI Regional Media Officer, North East and East, on 07824 518641 or at clare_hopps@rnli.org.uk

Megan McBride, RNLI Regional Media Engagement North East and East, on 0191 5269158 or megan_mcbride@rnli.org.uk

RNLI (national): Mike Carhart-Harris, Public Relations Manager (Campaigns), on 01202 663168 / m_carhart-harris@rnli.org.uk

Swim England: Alison Clowes, Head of Media and Public Affairs, on 07919 548039 / alison.clowes@swimming.org

Picture caption

The photo shows children taking part in a Swim Safe session. Credit: RNLI/Nathan Williams.

Notes to Editors

About Swim Safe:

Swim Safe was created by Swim England and the RNLI in 2013 to help children aged 7–14 stay safe while enjoying swimming outdoors.

From with a single scheme in Cornwall, Swim Safe has grown into a national programme spanning the UK. More than 13,000 children took part in a Swim Safe session at 20 locations in 2017.

This summer, Swim Safe is coming to 29 venues across England, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. It is being delivered in partnership with Scottish Swimming and Swim Wales, alongside a range of local delivery partners.

Swim Safe’s goal is for all children in the UK and Ireland to grow up with the skills to stay safe in and around the open water. Find out more at swimsafe.org.uk

About Swim England

Formally known as the Amateur Swimming Association, Swim England is the national governing body for swimming in England. It helps people learn how to swim, enjoy the water safely, and compete in all aquatic sports.

Swim England’s vision is of a nation swimming and it strives to inspire everyone to enjoy the water in the way that suits them. Each month millions of people are able to enjoy swimming, diving, water polo and synchronised swimming, having been through the Swim England Learn to Swim Programme.

Swim England also supports its members, clubs and athletes, and runs qualification and education programmes to develop the workforce. For more information, visit swimming.org/swimengland

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.