PRE-SCHOOL children with additional needs have been developing water confidence and having fun in special summer pool sessions.
The annual Splish Splash sessions at Denton Swimming Pool are run by the Portage service - a multi agency home visiting service for families with very young children who have additional needs. The service aims to help parents to support and promote their child's development through practising new skills through play.
A parent who uses the Portage service first came up with the idea for special swim sessions, which have now run during the summer for the past 13 years.
Many families have introduced their child to swimming for the first time during the sessions and then have continued to pursue other water activities with their child.
The sessions have helped the children gain water confidence and work towards some of their developmental targets in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.
Support, both in and out of the water, is available from the Portage Workers. An Active Tameside Lifeguard is always on the poolside and they have been invaluable in offering advice to parents on how best to support their child within the water.
To celebrate the final session everyone joins in fun action rhymes in the pool. These are led by the Tameside Bookstart Officer, who also presents every child with a Splish Splash attendance certificate and some Bookstart goodies.
Year on year families provide valuable feedback from attending Splish Splash.
One parents said: “We have thoroughly enjoyed the splish splash swim sessions for the past 5 years. We look forward to them each year and always love being able to take part in the sessions. Staff at the pool are always helpful and friendly. The sessions are always very relaxed and great fun!”
Another said: “It’s one of the best things Tameside has ever put on...it gives children independence.”
To find out more about the Portage service see www.tameside.gov.uk/portage
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