Bookings now open as Swim Safe comes to Wales for first time

Lifeboats News Release

Bookings are now open for Swim Safe, the FREE programme of outdoor swimming and water safety sessions for children, which will be coming to Wales for the first time this summer.

The first sessions to be held in Wales will be at Plas Menai National Outdoor Centre in Caernarfon, where the programme will be open to the public between 15 – 17 July and then special sessions for school pupils will take place between 11– 14 July.

Then later in July at Whitmore Bay in Barry Island the programme will run on the beach between 28 July and 29 July and then again between 12 August and 14 August.

The first year that Swim Safe has taken place in Wales, the scheme has so far taught over 11,600 children in the UK how to enjoy swimming outdoors safely. Practical, interactive, educational and fun, each session includes a land-based safety lesson with a lifeguard and in-water tuition with a swimming teacher. Wetsuits, swimming hats and a free goody bag with t-shirt are all provided. 

Delivered in partnership between the ASA (Amateur Swimming Association), Swim Wales and the RNLI charity (Royal National Lifeboat Institution), Swim Safe is perfect for families living near or visiting Welsh beaches this summer holiday.

Hope Filby, Swim Safe Coordinator at Plas Menai said: ‘This will be the first time the Swim Safe scheme has come to Wales and we at Plas Menai are really excited to welcome the first children.

‘We’ve got enough spaces for a total of 600 young people to come and learn some really important life skills, and it’s completely free.

‘On Wednesday 13 July emergency services and other agencies are being invited along to Plas Menai to promote all aspects of safety in the outdoors alongside the children's Swim Safe sessions.’

Hanna Guise, Swim Safe Coordinator at Whitmore Bay, where there are 500 spaces available for children, said: ‘There are all sorts of environmental factors to consider when you’re swimming outdoors, and it’s important that children know how to call for help if they get into trouble.

‘We would also be keen to hear from anyone keen to help during the Swim Safe sessions by volunteering.’

Swim Safe is a growing programme which is also taking place at several other locations across the UK this summer including the Bude, the Isle of Man, South Shields, Penzance, Poole, Scarborough, Jersey, the Isles of Scilly, the Lake District and two locations in Plymouth.

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

Notes to editors:

The attached image shows children enjoying a Swim Safe session. Credit Nathan Williams.

More high res images are available.

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

Media contacts:

For more information please contact Chris Cousens on 07748 265 496 or 01745 585162 or by email on Chris_Cousens@RNLI.or.g.uk or call Joanna Dey, RNLI PR Officer (Campaigns), on 01202 336064.

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