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Rookie lifeguard Lennon invites the Mayor of South Tyneside to Swim Safe

Lifeboats News Release

Swim Safe, the FREE programme of outdoor swimming and water safety sessions for children is returning to Sandhaven beach this week from 3–20 August.*

The initiative is delivered in partnership between the ASA (Amateur Swimming Association) and the RNLI charity (Royal National Lifeboat Institution).

Eight-year-old Lennon Hall, a pupil from Bede Burn Primary School in Jarrow, attended over 15 Swim Safe sessions last year at Sandhaven, inspiring his dream of becoming an RNLI lifeguard when he is older.

Jayne Hall, Lennon’s mum, explained: ‘Lennon became hooked on Swim Safe last year and is very excited that it’s returning to Sandhaven. He really enjoyed the fun and interactive nature of the sessions and embraced all the sea safety messages – he practically lived in his wetsuit all summer and would have slept in it if he could!

‘He recently wrote to the Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Alan Smith, to tell him of his lifesaving ambition of becoming an RNLI lifeguard and to let him know how he’s been raising vital money for the charity with the help of his school friends. Lennon has since invited the Mayor and Mayoress to Swim Safe and is over the moon that they’ve accepted and will come along to see an interactive session in action.’

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Alan Smith, said: ‘The Mayoress and I are looking forward to meeting Lennon and to finding out more about the Swim Safe sessions.

‘We were extremely proud of Lennon when we read his letter. His fund raising efforts and his ambition to become a lifeguard make him a true inspiration for other young people. 

‘It is imperative that youngsters across South Tyneside are aware of the potential dangers of being in and around open water.

‘The Swim Safe sessions are a great way for children to learn how to identify hazards and dangerous situations as well as build their confidence and  water safety skill this summer, to set them up for the future.’

Kate Nicholson, Swim Safe Coordinator at Sandhaven, said: ‘We’re really looking forward to welcoming Lennon back to Swim Safe; he’s such a great ambassador for our lifesaving programme. Hopefully this year we can inspire many more children like him to embrace our safety messages, enabling them to enjoy the water responsibly whilst still having fun.

Kate added: ‘There are all sorts of environmental factors to consider when you’re swimming outdoors and it’s important to remember that being in and around the sea is a very different environment to that of an indoor swimming pool. I’d recommend any parent thinking of spending time at the beach this summer to register their child for a free session.’

Parents can book their children onto a Swim Safe session now at www.swimming.org/SwimSafe or simply come along on the day.

The programme is practical, interactive, educational and fun. Each session includes a land-based safety lesson with a lifeguard, followed by in-water tuition with a swimming teacher. Wetsuits, swimming hats and a free goody bag with t-shirt are all provided. 

RNLI Media contacts
For more information please contact Clare Hopps, RNLI Press Officer, North at Clare_Hopps@rnli.org.uk or call 07824518641

RNLI Picture caption
1. The photo shows the Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside meeting rookie lifeguard Lennon hall at Swim Safe at Sandhaven beach. They are joined in the shot by RNLI lifeguards and Swim Safe instructors. Credit: RNLI.

2. The Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside meet rookie lifeguard Lennon hall and his mum Jayne Hall at Swim Safe at Sandhaven beach. They are joined in the shot by Swim Safe instructors. Credit: RNLI

Notes to Editors
• Swim Safe will run at Sandhaven beach between 3-20 August, Wednesday to Saturday.
• The programme is aimed at children between the ages of seven and fourteen.
• It’s the third year that Swim Safe has taken place at Sandhaven and the programme has taught over 1,800 children in Tyneside how to enjoy the sea safely.

About Swim Safe
Swim Safe began in 2013 and ran for five weeks in Bude, Cornwall, teaching local children and those holidaying in the area how to be safe in and around the sea. By 2015 the programme had expanded to Bude, Bournemouth, Sandhaven, the Lake District, the Isle of Man, Plymouth and Jersey and included the introduction of Swim Safe For Schools. This year the programme will be delivered in over 13 locations with thousands of places available. For more information visit www.swimming.org/swimsafe

About the ASA
The ASA (Amateur Swimming Association) is the English national governing body for swimming, diving, synchronised swimming and water polo. It organises competitions throughout England, establishes the laws of the sport, and operates a comprehensive certification and education programmes for teachers, coaches and officials. There are over 1,000 affiliated swimming clubs which are supported by the ASA through a national, regional and county structure. Millions of children have been taught to swim through the ASA’s learn to swim programmes. The ASA also develops programmes and initiatives to increase the number of people swimming more often.  For more information visit: www.swimming.org/asa

Key facts about the RNLI

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.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.

 

The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland