Swim Safe sessions held at the University of Worcester’s Lakeside Campus have been praised by a national outdoor water safety initiative.
The Campus is now the third most attended site for public sessions in the national Swim Safe programme, which was created by Swim England, the national governing body for swimming in England, and the RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea.
In addition, Lakeside was one of five shortlisted in the national Swim Safe Awards for best new site and one of the site’s teachers was shortlisted for best teacher.
Lakeside is one of a range of venues around the UK that has been approved by Swim Safe to deliver the sessions. The organisation supplies equipment and trains qualified swim teachers, providing potential additional vocational qualifications for students. The University co-ordinates the sessions and University staff and students, who are qualified open water lifeguards, assist.
Run every summer at beach, lake and other inland outdoors water locations across the UK, Swim Safe offers free outdoor swimming and water safety sessions for children aged between seven and 14. Children learn how to keep safe when swimming outdoors and know what to do if they get into trouble.
Last summer was the first time that the University of Worcester’s Lakeside Campus has hosted such sessions aimed at both local schools and the public. Overall, 932 people took part in public sessions at the Lakeside campus, plus a further 186 from local schools.
Swim Safe Area Coordinator, Felicity Bramford, said: “We are really pleased to be working with University of Worcester staff and students to provide Swim Safe to the local community at such a great venue. The team at the Lakeside campus have been brilliant to work with. They have achieved fantastic participation rates in their first year of delivery, which is a real testament to their commitment and high quality of staff. We are looking forward to returning to the Lakeside campus again in 2020 to educate even more young people on the importance of water safety.”
Francesca Coakley, Swim Safe Site Co-ordinator for the University, said: “We were really pleased with how well the Swim Safe programme was received through standalone sessions, part of multi-activity days and within our holiday club. It was brilliant for our students and staff to be engaged with a nationwide programme delivering such an important message and as the only Worcestershire site, we are glad that over 1000 local young people went away with the key messages that Swim Safe promote. To be nominated for two awards was not something we were expecting. This illustrates the level of professionalism our team has shown. We look forward to making 2020 even better and our aim is increase the number of young people engaged with the sessions in a bid to make them feel more confident and safe around open water.”
The Lakeside Team are now preparing for the coming season’s sessions.
Anyone interested in the Swim Safe sessions, both individual members of the public and schools, can find out more and book directly by visiting www.swimsafe.org.uk.