A scheme to get disadvantaged children across Gedling learning to swim has been awarded £26,970 from Jigsaw Foundation.
Gedling Borough Council’s leisure services was allocated the money, spread over three years, from Jigsaw Foundation – a £500,000 pot of funding to support projects that will have a positive impact on local communities.
It will offer up to 62 children who are Jigsaw Homes Midlands residents living in key areas, including Killisick and Netherfield, the opportunity to attend subsidised swimming lessons.
This will provide those taking part with a lifelong skill and take them from a non-swimmer to a capable Stage 3 swimmer; achieving their 25m badge by swimming unaided in both front crawl and backstroke.
The lessons, which are expected to start in September, will be delivered in a safe and fun environment, by experienced teachers who are fully qualified by the Institute of Swimming.
They will be held at Carlton Forum, Calverton and Arnold leisure centres at a reduced cost of just £2 per lesson.
Councillor John Clarke, Leader of Gedling Borough Council said: “Everyone should have the opportunity to learn to swim irrespective of background, where they live or the social challenges they experience. Swimming is the only physical activity that can save a person’s life and although we already provide ways for people to access high quality swimming experiences, we know this is not always a priority for families on lower incomes.
“Working in association with Jigsaw Homes Midlands, we want to make sure that residents have access to an invaluable skill.”
Research from Swim England, Active Lives Children and Young People showed that the ability to swim 25 metres is affected by both family affluence and location. It also found that only 42 per cent of children and young people from lower socio economic groups can swim 25 metres unaided, compared to 86 per cent of those from higher socio economic groups.
Sarah Keenan, Jigsaw Foundation manager, said: “We hope that by providing the funding, which was voted on by members of Jigsaw’s executive management team, more children in disadvantaged areas can learn this vital, life-saving skill. We will be supporting Gedling Borough Council in identifying families who might benefit from these lessons.”
Any Jigsaw Homes Midlands resident who is interested in the swimming programme should contact Gedling Borough Council leisure centre on 0115 901 3715 or e-mail email@example.com
Jigsaw Foundation encourages bids from a range of different applicants across Jigsaw communities including resident groups, local or charity projects, voluntary organisations, social enterprises and partner agencies.
A total of £45,000 was set aside for projects in the east Midlands, but there is still over £36,000 available to be allocated.
If you have a project that you think could benefit, and is eligible for funding, please see the Jigsaw Foundation website on how to apply.