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RNLI and Suffolk Norse Swimming partner to launch new safe swimming award

Lifeguards News Release

The swimming division of Suffolk Norse, who support the county’s schools in fulfilling their National Curriculum requirements, has launched a new personal safety in shallow water award to teach primary school children the skills needed to survive if they fell into deep open water.

Advocate Media Limited

Nick Ayers, RNLI Community Safety Partner, and the Suffolk Norse Swimming team at the launch of the new award.
The swimming lessons which focus on the four fundamental skills needed to be safe and have fun near the water were developed in partnership with the RNLI’s Community Safety team. It is aimed at those with no or little experience of swimming with the lessons taking place in the shallow end of the pool.

Nick Ayers, RNLI Community Safety Partner, said: ‘We were delighted to work with Suffolk Norse Swimming to develop this new personal safety swimming award. As the charity that saves lives at sea, we know that education is vital to staying safe.

‘The simple, short exercises will give the students an idea of the lifesaving differences between fighting against cold water and floating to live, as well as learning what to do if they see someone else in trouble in the water. After the lessons, we hope the young people will have the skills and confidence to enjoy trips near the water safely.’

Lisa Perry, Joint Operations Managers for Suffolk Norse Swimming, said: ‘The award is the first Personal Safety Award for shallow water in the UK. We hope that the award will ultimately be rolled out nationally.

‘With the new shallow water award, Suffolk Norse aims to ensure that all swimmers in our service leave school with personal safety knowledge, and hopefully giving them the confidence and skills to go on and achieve the award in deep water.’

Suffolk Norse facilitates swimming for around 21,000 school children across the county. The new award has a teachers’ resource pack, designed to help school teachers deliver the lessons and teach the skills required to fulfil the award’s assessment criteria.

For further information, please contact Nicola Quinn, RNLI regional media manager, on 07810 658 072 or nicola_quinn@rnli.org.uk.

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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

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