With support from Speedo, The Angus Lawson Memorial Trust and RLSS UK, EPIC Partners began working in 2016 on a new, innovative project called ‘Every Child A Swimmer – Drowning Prevention (ECAS-DP).
The purpose of the project is to enable children of primary school age to be safe in and around water, increasing their awareness of water safety, swim survival and safe rescue skills, with the overall aim of reducing accidental drowning incidences amongst children in/from the St Ann’s and Sneinton area of Nottingham.
The project provides:
A 2 week intensive swimming block to work on water safety, swim survival and safe rescue skills and to enable children to swim more confidently
School resources to complement the practical swim sessions and increase water safety awareness and knowledge
Water safety presentations to whole schools via assemblies
Teaching water safety through classroom based lessons/learning
SABL (Save A Baby’s Life) workshops for parents
Free family swim sessions staffed by Epic swim teachers
Weekly ‘Rookie Lifeguard’ sessions for children
Lifeguard and teaching qualifications for staff and young volunteers
Project achievements to date:
In the most recent academic year of the programme (Sept 2018 to Sept 2019) 182 children from 3 schools received drowning prevention education through practice sessions at the pool, a water safety presentation and school resources. 13 children also gained the Rookie lifeguard qualification and 3 swim teachers also passed a community instructors course and can now teach the ‘Save a Baby’s Life’ course in school.
An essential drowning prevention skill taught as part of the programme is floating and at the beginning of the programme only 60 % of children could float, which rose to 100% by the end of the programme. In addition, when asked before the programme 20/25 said they would jump in to save a person they could see in trouble in the water, whereas after the programme 7/25 children would not jump in and understood that jumping in would put both them and the person at risk.
More importantly the positive feedback received from the children that took apart and their parents:
“I love swimming, it’s so much fun. I feel safe now I can swim” “WOW I did it, I went under water and got the sinker, I can do it”
“I was really nervous but I didn‘t want my daughter to see. Watching my daughter swimming and having fun encouraged me to get in to share her love for swimming. She started to help me learn to float and was teaching me to kick my legs. I‘m so proud of her”
“He really didn’t want to go at first, but after 2 days he would come home and tell me everything he had learnt, sometimes he couldn’t remember the name of the skill but he showed me instead. He was on the living room floor, kicking his legs and moving his arms. He’s so happy”
Speedo will continue to support this important project– so keep an eye out for further updates!
To find out more about EPIC Partners visit: