Children enjoy free swimming lessons in Morecambe

Nearly 50 children from Heysham and Morecambe received free swimming lessons during the school holiday as part of an initiative developed by the charity Active Lancashire that utilises funding from Sport England.

Lessons took place at the Bay Leadership Academy in Morecambe throughout the week beginning 22nd August. They were run by local swimming group Molly’s Little Minnows, who provided each pupil with a certificate on completion of their lessons.

The sessions were made possible by Active Lancashire, who are currently allocating £208,000 from Sport England’s Together Fund to clubs, groups and communities across the borough with an aim to help the physical activity sector recover from the coronavirus crisis.

As part of this, Active Lancashire have been awarding grants to specifically support local groups in running swimming lessons for children living in disadvantaged communities and for those who missed out on learning how to swim due to Covid restrictions. 900 children are set to benefit across the county, with lessons having also taken place in Burnley and Rossendale during the holidays.

Active Lancashire provided £5,000 of funding to the Lancaster and Heysham School Sport Network CIC to plan and arrange sessions locally in collaboration with local schools after they bid for the funding. In addition, the Bay Leadership Academy have provided use of their pool for free.

Further lessons will take place throughout the year as part of an after school programme.

Tim Fletcher, Lancaster and Heysham School Sport Network CIC Director, said, “We had 48 pupils split into smaller groups in sessions throughout the week, all learning various swimming strokes. It has been a fantastic collaboration and the feedback from families has been amazing.”

Several parents flooded Molly’s Little Minnows Facebook page with praise during the course of week (view several comments here). One parent said, "Just completed the intensive week with Molly's Little Minnows and it has been the best week for my boys. Both have come on in leaps and bounds in such a short amount of time. To watch their confidence grow in the water has been amazing, so a massive thank you once again to Molly and all the teachers for doing these sessions."

Andy Clark, Together Fund and Club Development Support Officer at Active Lancashire, said, “Swimming not only has huge health benefits but is an essential life-saving skill too, with drowning being one of the most common causes of accidental death in children. Unfortunately the average number of children who can swim dropped by nearly 6% during the pandemic. The ability to catch up due to lost time is more of a challenge for less affluent families, so we hope this funding helps to bridge the gap.

“Learning to swim also increases the likelihood that the children will continue swimming as they grow - supporting local leisure providers and swimming clubs. These lessons are just one part of our work to support communities through the Together Fund, with sports clubs and groups able to apply directly for funding on our website.”

Find out more about the Together Fund and how to bid for it through Active Lancashire at

Active Partnerships
Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership
Funded by UK Government Levelling Up