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The charity making life better by water

Helping black women in Nottingham feel safer and more confident by water

We're launching a new initiative to help members of the black community in Nottingham feel more confident around water.

Three women floating in a swimming pool

We've secured funding from Sport England to launch the Swim Sista Swim programme, which will give black women in the city the opportunity to learn how to swim. The twelve-month programme will give people the confidence to spend more time by water and take part in other water-based activities.

Black women are underrepresented in the water-based wellbeing activities run by us and, according to the World Health Organisation, statistically the black community is at greater risk of drowning.

Building confidence

The aim of the project is to gradually build confidence in and around water so that people feel safe by water and actively want to spend more time by Nottinghamshire’s waterways. Research shows that spending time by water can help people to feel happier and healthier so it’s hoped that the project will deliver long term health and wellbeing benefits to those taking part.

Swimming sessions will take place at the Portland Leisure Centre in the Meadows and there will also be workshops to understand the barriers that prevent people from swimming and taking part in water-based activities.

One known barrier is around haircare and so, as part of the programme, we're teaming up with Soul Cap to offer free swimming caps to those taking part.

Over time it’s hoped that those taking part will gain the confidence to spend more time by water and even try other water-based activities such as canoeing and paddleboarding.

Improving our physical and mental wellbeing

Carol Burrell, our community wellbeing coordinator, said: “Research shows that spending time by Nottinghamshire’s waterways is good for our physical and mental health, but how do people feel those benefits if they don’t feel comfortable by water?

“The aim of this project is to act as a stepping stone and help women from Nottingham’s black community to feel safer and more confident around water so that they can really enjoy their local waterways and the benefits that being by water brings.

“As a charity we’re so grateful for the funding from Sport England, which has made this project possible, and we can’t wait to get started.”

To find out more about the programme, and to take part contact [email protected]

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Last Edited: 29 February 2024

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