“Grief is like the ocean; it comes in waves, ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.”
The Grenfell Tower fire has highlighted the already existing inequalities present in the community and has left a community in grief. As part of aiding recovery and to try to bridge the gap between those who can access resources and those who cannot.
Swimunity was formed to provide a safe space for all members of the community to learn to swim and to enjoy the many benefits the water can bring to both body and mind.
Swimunity’s aims were formed in the wake of the tragedy to teach and enhance resilience, empowerment and strength to young people. It is a chance for someone to learn how to keep themselves safe, as well as how to relax and keep calm, face fears and increase their confidence and health. It is this resilience which our children need to build upon, not only in our community wide recovery from Grenfell but to prepare them for the journey of adulthood with all life’s ups and downs.
We believe there is a need for a more inclusive approach to aquatics and we aim to remove any barriers present whether they are cultural or economic through working with the local community to make them feel welcome and at ease with the water whether they are an absolute beginner or retired competitive swimmer.
We recognise the need for fun in young people and children’s lives as well as adults and believe that there are many benefits to taking part in an activity purely for pleasure, joy and connection.
Free swimming lessons
As part of our mission to provide access to learning to swim for all members of our community we want to remove the economic barrier of learning to swim. Private swimming lessons range from £20-£40 per lesson which is a big deterrent for many people in the community. Group/leisure centre swimming lessons are around £60 per month so with multiple siblings in the house this excludes low income families.
High quality tuition
We aim to ensure students leave our programmes feeling engaged with a skill they are able to use. All the skills learnt should not only be technically correct but students should feel they are able to independently carry out the skill with little to no prompts after completion of the programme. Our tutors all hold an ASA swimming teaching qualification as well as many years of teaching experience.
Educational holistic programme
Learning to swim is not only about gaining a key lifesaving skill. It is a way of life, a discipline which brings about many health benefits as well as a medium to socialise and enjoy the element of water! It is a great place to build a report with yourself and others, expand your confidence and meet likeminded people as well as make lifelong friends. The breathing element of swimming is similar to the practice of pranayama in yoga, leading to decreased stress levels, increased sleep quality, increased mindfulness and improved cognitive functioning through connecting the mind and body.
Post Programme Support
We aim to not only provide the foundation for learning to swim but to connect those in the community with the resources needed to continue to implement regular swimming in their lives. We would like to work with local leisure centres and community groups to make this connection happen through bridging the gap between people and resources.
Grenfell Projects Fund