Making a splash!

The Early Help & Schools Team in Rochdale Borough Council collaborated with Link4Life in publishing multi-lingual letters about the benefits of swimming lessons. The letters are in Arabic, Bengali, Kurdish, Panjabi, Polish, Romanian, Spanish and Urdu. Continuing the spirit of co-operation they have kindly donated these letters to anyone who may have the same challenge.

You can download them free or charge, like all the other letters in the Multi-lingual Letters Library, now.
Swimming is an essential life-long skill: life-prolonging and lifesaving. It helps children to develop their strength, co-ordination, flexibility and stamina, and improves respiratory health. It promotes a sense of wellbeing and confidence, and a love of physical exercise. It is also part of the national curriculum.
In Rochdale, many of the national curriculum swimming lessons are delivered by Link4Life, a charity that works in the heart of the community with centres across the borough.   
During the summer months, concern was expressed by BAME community members, schools, and families about the possible return to swimming lessons for children in September. Link4Life put a huge amount of effort in ensuring that their facilities and lessons were as risk-free as possible. The next challenge was making sure that parents understood what was in place and what the benefits of NC swimming lessons are, so that they could make an informed choice about their child’s participation.
Link4Life, Rochdale School Improvement Team, and Mantra Lingua worked together to address this issue, resulting in a set of letters in different languages. “It has been absolutely necessary to use translations in order to clearly communicate with parents from different linguistic communities about the benefits that swimming brings to their children. Using translation has enabled us to share fully with parents the specific measures which have been put in place to protect children whilst they are learning to swim.”- Vinny Howarth, Performance and Achievement Officer at Rochdale School Improvement Team.
Link4Life shared the letters with schools via the Swimphony portal, and schools were then able to share the letters with parents. Vinny Howarth explained: “We hoped that this approach would address the concerns of communities and that families would know that their children are being supported in becoming happy, confident and strong swimmers!”
So, what has been the impact? Lorna Goldie, the Aquatic and Group Exercise Manager from Link4Life, was pleased to share that every parent offered a NC school swimming lesson with Link4Life has taken up the opportunity for their child. We are thrilled that parents were able to make informed decisions and that the joint approach from all involved has had such a positive result.
Teamwork makes the dream work!
This blog was written by the Team!