Swimming to success

Feb 7, 2020

Welcome to this guest blog from Swim England, a registered charity and the national governing body for swimming in England.

Swim England are delighted to be working in partnership with the Housing Association Charitable Trust.

We are a charity that is committed to ensuring that everybody can enjoy the water, and all the benefits that come from being active in it. We are particularly keen to ensure that swimming is an activity that is accessible and welcoming for all.

Just like housing associations, we are active in communities right across the country, with millions of people enjoying swimming every year. Swimming remains one of the most popular activities across the country. Every month, 4.7 million people swim regularly.

Swimming can reach so many people and be enjoyed by people of all ages. It can transform lives and tackle a number of the problems facing society in a way that no other sport can. The obesity crisis, an ageing population with more people living longer with a health condition or disability and millions of people experiencing mental health issues each year. Being active and having fun in the water can help tackle these challenges.

Our latest research showed that swimming is incredibly valuable. Valuable for the individual who is healthier and happier, who feels more confident and more connected to their local community because of swimming and valuable also to society, saving the NHS time and money and improving community cohesion. In fact, our latest research showed that swimming saves the NHS over £350 million each year.

It is this huge social value of swimming that makes us so keen to work with housing associations, whose own social purpose is so strong and so demonstrable.

Housing associations up and down the country are investing in their tenants and their local communities. The many benefits of swimming offer a way to help maximise the impact you have in creating sustainable lives and places as well as offering opportunities for skills development and employment opportunities for residents. For example through obtaining lifeguarding, swim teaching and/or coaching qualifications.

If you would like to discuss how swimming could help increase the social value of your housing association then please do get in touch.

Lesley Hill, Head of Strategic Partnerships

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