After a year without Swim Safe, the popular water safety scheme which has been previously held in Bude, local Swim Safe Site Coordinator, Bill Williams and his brilliant band of volunteers, are hoping to bring the sea safety scheme back to the town next year. It is hoped the scheme will run from Monday 5th August to Thursday 15th August but your help is needed as this year, the scheme needs to help fund itself.
As budgets have grown thinner and belts are tightened, the total cost of Swim Safe in Bude (over £8000) is not passed on to participants but for next year, the scheme needs local input of 30%, or £2500 to secure its return for vital free swimming improvement and water safety lessons for children.
One event has already been held to raise the money. This was a quiz at The Preston Gate which resulted in over £200 raised from the quiz and a raffle; many of the prizes were sourced from one volunteer. A keen anonymous supporter has also made a fantastic donation of £1500, but £800 is still required just to secure the return of Swim Safe. So close, and with your help, achievable.
For January, the team has organised a fun quiz and auction at Rosie’s Kitchen, Crooklets, on Thursday 24th January 2019, so save the date. Quiz master is Pete ‘Vicko’ Vickery. Start time is 7 pm. The items up for auction are fabulous: a set of family tickets to London Zoo, donated by former Swim Safe teacher, Karl Penman, a complete house alarm system donated by Ambush Alarms, a large dry robe donated by Swim England, surf lesson vouchers donated by Scott at Bude Surfing Experience and a 4-ball round of golf among them.
Bill says: Swim Safe belongs in Bude. It was trialled in the Sea Pool in 2013 and has been here ever since. Sadly, last year we failed in our bid to hold it, but everyone wants the important safety messages to return. It is hugely important that local and our visitors’ children are given the opportunity to learn how to stay safe in our coastal waters. Please support the return of Swim Safe by booking a team of 6 or less at the quiz with staff at Rosie’s, by ringing 01288 354238 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill volunteered three years ago to be the RNLI Community Safety Officer, so proactively thought Swim Safe would help to keep people safe. He sincerely believes in it, saying:
In Bude, people can quickly be dragged to sea in rip currents, so education is vital. It is also educational. Many parents think supervising their children means being able to see them in the water, but I ask them: can you see the flag on the Castle from Summerleaze Car Park? Well, you cannot supervise children at arms’ length so simply being able to see them in the water is not enough. Lifeguards are there to save not supervise. Bude is very dangerous water. Whether you are a 25-year-old surfer or 7-year-old, the sea doesn’t differentiate. Swim Safe is for children but also parents can go in with an unconfident child and the last session of the day is a family session. We are keen to educate parents and teach them the dangers of rips, etc.