Free swimming sessions to promote water safety

Families in County Durham can enjoy free pool fun as part of a campaign to encourage safer swimming.

Durham County Council is offering free pool-based activities for children and young people aged 18 and under who live in the county, in support of national Be Water Aware Week, which runs from Monday 25 April to Sunday 1 May.

During every weekend until Sunday 17 July, the council is offering free swimming sessions to young people.

The selected sessions, which are funded by County Durham Sport, aim to inspire people to enjoy spending time in and around water safely, with rafts, floats and inflatables to add to the fun.

Cllr James Rowlandson, the council’s Cabinet member for resources, investment and assets, including sports and leisure, said: “It’s important to teach children about water safety, particularly in the run up to the summer holidays when we often see an increase in water-based incidents in coastal and inland beauty spots across the county.

“These free sessions give families an opportunity to enjoy the water in a safe environment. They’re a chance to spend time together and have fun, whilst increasing young people’s confidence and strengthening their swimming abilities.”

Residents are encouraged to sign up for a free Thrive card in advance of the sessions. Sign up is only needed once, and children who already have a Thrive card do not need to apply for a new one. Parents can get a Thrive card by visiting www.durham.gov.uk/thrivecard.

To participate in inflatable sessions, children must be aged eight or over and able to swim unaided.

More information about the free sessions, including dates and locations, is available at www.durham.gov.uk/freeweekendswimming

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