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Fears the cost of swimming lessons is cutting Shoalhaven children off from life-saving skills has sparked a new campaign.
Nowra Family Support Service Inc is aiming to enlist the support of individuals, community groups and businesses to raise funds to pay for lessons for children from disadvantaged families.
Manager Pam Arnold said Nowra Family Support Service has a strong belief that all children have the right to learn to swim.
However, she said the main barrier for many families is the cost of swimming lessons.
“We’re so blessed in the Shoalhaven to have abundant waterways, rivers and beautiful beaches”, Mrs Arnold said.
“The sooner kids learn to swim the better.
“However, there is a need to take preventative action to ensure that our children have been taught to swim to survive.
“The sooner kids learn to swim the better.”
Mrs Arnold said the Nowra Family Support Service supports the Royal Lifesaving National Association in urging families to have their children taught swimming skills, survival swimming and basic rescue.
A major goal of the Water Safety Strategy 2016-2020 is to reduce drowning deaths by 50 per cent by the year 2020.
“It is essential that the community assumes ownership of this vital issue,” Mrs Arnold said.
“Drownings and non-fatal drownings have a devastating impact on families and on their communities.”
The cost of one term’s lessons is around $140, but sponsorship for one year will be $560.
Any contributions $2 and over are tax deductible.
The campaign is being supported by Liz Arnold, DAPPS manager at Nowra Family Support Service Inc, Pam Arnold, manager and Denise Green, coordinator at Nowra Family Support Inc (pictured right)
Contact 4421 5499 for more information or to make a donation.