Local Community News


L-R: Charlotte Francis (Swim England), Todd Miller, Amber Gardiner, Hannah Coulson-Kurowski, Wendy Randall, JJ Hulford-Funnell and Peter Baxter (RNLI)

The Isle of Wight RNLI Lifeboat Board has announced that its Swim Safe team have been crowned ‘Overall Site of the Year’ in a national round of awards by Swim England.

Swim Safe, the national outdoor swimming and water safety programme for 7-14-year-olds, was successfully delivered to over 1,600 children at Sandown Beach in July and August 2018.

Created by Swim England and the RNLI, this free activity teaches children how to swim safely outdoors and what to do if they get into trouble. In all, 29 sites around the UK delivered Swim Safe to over 24,000 children last summer.

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The 60-minute sessions are run by qualified swimming instructors and lifeguards and supported by a team of volunteers.

Robin Ebsworth, Chairman of the IW RNLI Board, paid tribute to the team at the Board’s meeting this week, saying:

“The dedication and enthusiasm of the instructors and leaders that sustained the programme over 6 weeks is inspiring to us all. We know from so many that have participated that this scheme helps to save lives and I am delighted that this award recognises our team’s contribution in helping to defeat drowning around the UK”.

Peter Baxter, the RNLI’s Swim Safe coordinator on the Isle of Wight, says:

“I know the whole Team is pleased and proud to have made a difference to so many young people on the beach last summer. We are looking forward to doing it again in 2019”.

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Swim Safe will be returning to Sandown later this year. Following 3 weeks of sessions designed for schools classes from across the Island, public sessions will run on weekdays from 29th July to 16th August 2019. In all, over 2,100 places will be made available.

Keep checking www.swimsafe.org.uk to book online and look out for more publicity nearer the time.

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