Northamptonshire Sport delivers swimming lessons and drowning prevention education to many of the primary schools in Northamptonshire. Northamptonshire Sport launched ‘Adopt a School’ as part of RLSS UK Drowning Prevention Week and was approached by team members at Hilton Northampton who were interested in making a difference in their local community.
Hilton Northampton adopted eight local primary schools to educate about drowning prevention, and also supplied 85 packs to be distributed across the county to schools taking part in curriculum swimming lessons during Drowning Prevention Week.
DM Thomas Foundation for Young People supported the project through purchasing wristbands for every child taking part, spot prizes and further resources for teachers to support future delivery. The wristbands and prizes encouraged pupils to tell people at home, friends and teachers things that they had learnt, further stretching the reach of the project.
Through the project, Northamptonshire Sport has worked directly with 700 pupils, whilst the distribution of packs could impact as many as 25,000 pupils across Northamptonshire. The packs and resources from RLSS can also provide an ongoing resource for future years. Two of the participating schools are using pupils who took part to further educate their peers within the school, showing how the project can be self-sustaining. Another four would like provide more lessons in this area next year.
The new partnership between Northamptonshire Sport and Hilton Northampton, with support from DM Thomas Foundation for Young People, has increased the number of schools Northamptonshire Sports is able to work with.
Kay Jackson, Facilities Manager at Hilton Northampton, said of the experience: “The Hilton Northampton wanted to use their passion for hospitality and get involved in a community project that could make a difference and educate young people. Northamptonshire has a vast expanse of open water and we wanted to raise water safety awareness. We spoke to our charity partner, DM Thomas Foundation for Young People, who supported the awareness with a grant to purchase spot prizes and wrist bands. All of the hotel team got behind the event by helping with the educational packs or supporting the sessions.”