Swim Safe makes a splash in St Ives
Swim Safe, the nation outdoor swimming and water safety programme for 7-14 year olds which was held at SurfHouse in St Ives from 23 July to 27 August this summer, proved to be a massive success.
Run by Swim England and the RNLI, this free, fun activity taught children how to swim outdoors this summer and what to do if they got into trouble. Swim Safe was initially launched at a single venue in Cornwall in 2013. Now in its sixth year, it has grown to include 29 locations across the UK – including St Ives.
The hour-long sessions were run by qualified swimming teachers and qualified lifeguards, supported by a team of trained volunteers. The first 20 minutes covered land-based safety and then it was into the water for practical tuition with a swimming teacher.
Charlotte Francis, area co-ordinator for Swim Safe, said:
‘Swim Safe in St Ives has been a huge success this summer with nearly 500 children participating and learning vital water safety skills through 30 sessions over six weeks. We are hoping to return in 2019 to St Ives offering more opportunities for local children and holiday makers to take part. Thank you to the Swim Safe St Ives team for all of your hard work this summer, we couldn’t do it without you.’
Margaret Almey, whose 10 year old daughter Grace took part in one of the sessions in St Ives, said:
‘I initially heard about Swim Safe through social media and thought it was such a fantastic way for Grace to learn the important messages to do with staying safe in the sea. Through only this one really informative session, she now knows how to stay safe whilst swimming in the sea – something that has taken me years of experience to understand.
The knowledge and understanding she now has, especially at such a young age, is incredibly reassuring for me as a parent. Grace has now begun to pass the information she learned at Swim Safe onto her friends and sometimes even fellow beachgoers. Not only did the session provide a fun day out for her, but she learned the importance of respecting the water which is something she will remember for the rest of her life.’
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.