Five years of Swim Safe at Lake Windermere
Swim Safe, the RNLI and Swim England’s free outdoor swimming sessions for 7-14-year-olds, have completed their fifth year at Lake Windermere. And one boy has enjoyed it so much he’s come back every single year!
Will Morgan, 12, from Walney Island, has returned every year since the first ever session held at the lake in 2014. To recognise his commitment, Will was given some special gifts from the session organiser, Caroline Smith, which included a Swim Safe hoodie, thermal mug, hat and towing buoy for Will to use when he goes swimming outdoors.
The Swim Safe sessions at Windermere are run by Swim England and the RNLI in partnership with GLL and South Lakeland District Council. The council contributes £5,000 a year to the program as they really see the value of the program and the vital messages it gives.
The programme at Windermere includes two weeks of sessions for local schools and two weeks of public sessions, as well as those for groups of both adults and children with special educational needs, making the Swim Safe as inclusive as possible.
Caroline says: ‘It’s been great to see so many children take up the opportunity to come to our Swim Safe event. Will came on our very first Swim Safe and has been every year since. His mum really feels it’s important to learn these messages early. Will has actually been in trouble in water when his inflatable dinghy blew away from shore. Luckily, he remained calm and knew what to do.
‘Will is starting secondary school in September and is keen to carry on returning to Swim Safe in the future and to volunteer for the programme as he gets older.’
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, in a normal year, 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.