SEND in the Dengie
Swimming sessions for those with additional needs
The Maldon Find Your Active Community Connector, worked closely with a group of parents who have children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND), understanding what the barriers were to the young people accessing physical activity and how Active Essex could support. The parent led group, SEND in the Dengie consultation highlighted that swimming would be a popular and beneficial activity.
Three sessions family fun swims were initially supported across two locations through out the summer holidays to ensure the Swimming Pools were suitable, the young people enjoyed it and attended. Maldon District Council funded these initial sessions to ensure cost was not a barrier to participation.
Feedback from the family fun swims were positive but it was felt that swimming lessons were still needed as they were not catered for in mainstream lessons. SEND in the Dengie applied through the Find Your Active fund and secured £3000 to deliver small group or 1:1 lessons for those young people who could not access mainstream lessons or afford 1:1 classes.
Those taking part, were primary school children, who are living with a number of educational needs or disabilities, including ADHD, anxiety and autism and delivered by a local Swim School.
From the initial fun swim and now structured lessons this has been led by the parents and feedback at each stage has informed next steps. The interventions were designed to gauge initial interest and demonstrated why the funding was needed to further this project and encourage more children to get active through swimming whilst learning important life skills.
The organised structured lessons involved a 10-week block of 30-minute lessons taking place in Southminster swim school. This was the same location as the fun swims, which ensured children felt comfortable because they had already attended a session there.