Free swimming lessons project at South Shields beaches

The Swim Safe session at Sandhaven beach last year. Credit: RNLI/Adrian Don.
The Swim Safe session at Sandhaven beach last year. Credit: RNLI/Adrian Don.

The Swim Safe session at Sandhaven beach last year. Credit: RNLI/Adrian Don.

Swim Safe, a programme of outdoor swimming and water safety sessions for children, will run on Sandhaven and Longsands beaches from next week.

Aimed at children aged from seven to 14, the programme will take place at Longsands from August 2 to 12 and at Sandhaven from August 16 to 26.

Swim Safe teaches children how to stay safe when swimming outdoors - which is more challenging than swimming in a pool - and the programme was created jointly by national swimming governing body Swim England and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

The hour-long sessions are run by qualified swimming teachers and qualified lifeguards, supported by a team of trained volunteers.

Gareth Oxley, Swim Safe co-ordinator, for Longsands and Sandhaven said: “Children love swimming outdoors but swimming in the sea, rivers and lakes is more challenging than swimming in a pool where most lessons take place.

“Swim Safe helps children learn to keep safe when swimming outdoors, so they know what do if they get into trouble.”

Since Swim Safe started in 2013 at just one site in Bude, Cornwall, but, since then, over 18,000 sessions have taken place across the UK.

The first 20 minutes covers land-based safety and then it is into the water for practical tuition with a swimming teacher. Wetsuits, swimming hats and a free goody bag with a tee-shirt are all provided. Children must be able to swim at least 25 metres to take part.

To book a free Swim Session, visit swimsafe.org.uk.