Free water safety skills sessions for children in Suffolk and Essex
Children in Suffolk and Essex will be able to learn vital water safety skills for free, as Swim England and the RNLI’s Swim Safe programme returns this summer.
The fun, hour-long sessions teach young people aged 7–14 how to swim safely outdoors and what to do if they, or someone else, get into difficulty in the water.
Swim England and the RNLI are running Swim Safe sessions in Lowestoft, Harwich, Walton-on-the-Naze and Clacton during July and August.
Booking is essential, and opens six weeks prior to each session. To book your child’s free place, go to swimsafe.org.uk/locations
Children must be aged between 7 and 14 and able to swim 25 metres unaided to take part.
The sessions begin with children receiving water safety advice on land, before heading into the water for practical tuition with qualified instructors.
Children only need to bring their swim suit and a towel, as all the kit to take part, including wetsuits, swim hats and flotation equipment, is provided. They will also get some free Swim Safe goodies to take home!
Felicity Bramford, Swim Safe Area Coordinator Midlands and East, says:
‘Children love swimming outdoors, but it’s very different to swimming in a pool, where most children learn to swim. It’s essential that children learn where it is safe to swim, how to stay safe and what to do if they get into trouble.
‘We want all children to grow up learning these vital life skills. The session also offer a chance for parents and carers to get advice on helping their children stay safe around open water.’
Swim Safe dates and locations are as follows:
· Lowestoft: South Beach, 13, 14, 20 and 21 July
· Harwich: Dovercourt Beach, 30 July – 3 August, 13-17 August
· Clacton-on-Sea: Martello Bay, 22-26 July
· Walton-on-the-Naze: Eastern Terrace, 27-31 August
Swim England and the RNLI created Swim Safe in 2013 with a single activity at Bude in Cornwall. Having grown year on year, in 2019 Swim Safe will be running at 36 beach and inland water locations across England, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. The programme aims to support the UK’s Drowning Prevention Strategy’s aim of reducing accidental drowning by 50% by 2026. For more information about Swim Safe, visit swimsafe.org.uk
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.