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South West Water helps children learn to Swim Safe

Lifeguards News Release

South West Water are helping to fund the RNLI and Swim England’s Swim Safe programme this summer, to teach children from 7 to 14 how to swim safely in open water.

Charlotte Francis

Children learning to Swim Safe in Bude give the programme a thumbs up!

South West Water generously donated £11,250 to the RNLI for 2019/20 which is helping to fund the Swim Safe programme at Bude and Marazion this summer. South West Water have supported the RNLI since 2015 when staff helped them to choose charitable partners. Under the theme of wellbeing, South West Water staff voted overwhelmingly to support the RNLI, as the charity enables residents and visitors to safely enjoy the region’s beaches.

The donation will enable a total of 1,320 children to have the opportunity to participate in the free hour-long sessions to learn how to stay safe in open water and what to do if something goes wrong. The programme aims to support the UK Drowning Prevention Strategy’s aim of reducing accidental drowning by 50 per cent by 2026.

Bude was the first location of the Swim Safe programme when it launched in 2013, and it has since expanded to sites all around the UK. Swim England and the RNLI work closely with a range of local delivery partners to make Swim Safe available to as many children as possible, whether they live by the coast, inland, or in our cities. In Marazion, Swim England and the RNLI are working with Ocean High, an established local watersports school, to deliver the programme.

Dan Jones at South West Water, who looks after the company’s charitable partnerships, said:

‘Transforming our region’s bathing waters from polluted seas 25 years ago to some of the finest beaches in Europe today has been a key priority for South West Water for over two decades.

‘The RNLI enables residents and visitors to enjoy many of our region’s beautiful beaches safely, so we are delighted to continue to support the charity’s important work again this year.

‘The free Swim Safe sessions in Bude and Marazion will help hundreds of young people to stay safe on the beach this summer.’

Bill Williams, Swim Safe site co-ordinator at Bude, said:

‘We’re very grateful for the donation from South West Water. Swim Safe has such a long history in Bude, and the programme allows us to deliver all the important messages to children, and their parents, on staying safe in the sea and fresh water lakes around Britain.

‘Our teaching staff make each lesson such a fun way to learn and thanks to some great donations, we can deliver the programme to 7-14 year olds free of charge. Our staff and volunteers are fantastic folk and keep the project running very smoothly.’

There are still spaces available at the Marazion sessions on 31 August, and at Bude from 5-8 August. In Cornwall, there are also Swim Safe sessions running at Falmouth, Newquay, St Ives, and Millendreath this year.

For more information about Swim Safe, and to book your child’s free place, visit swimsafe.org.uk

Notes to editors

  • Please find photos attached of the Swim Safe session on Thursday 1 August at Bude (Credit Charlotte Francis).

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Charlotte Francis

Children practicing the float position at the Bude Swim Safe session

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 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.

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