Hartlepool-based business that gives babies their water wings celebrates 1,000th young swimmer

A Hartlepool-based business which introduces babies and young children to the benefits of swimming has celebrated its 1,000th swimmer.

Saturday, 29th May 2021, 4:45 am

Water Babies Tees Valley and North York Moors hit the milestone after a difficult year when it was forced to close its doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But it is bouncing back stronger than ever and has now expanded even further into Durham and Darlington.

Water Babies teaches children from as young as just a few days old up to the age of five and says the benefits are massive.

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Water Babies celebrates its 1,000th young swimmer. Pictured from left are Debbie Smith (Water Babies) Neil Drew (Ingleby Barwick Leisure General Manager), Helen Eyeington (Ingleby Barwick Leisure, Duty Manager), Laura Blewitt (Water Babies), Darcy Webster, Pamela Hargreaves (Water Babies Chief Executive) and Riccy Bradshaw (Water Babies).

Hartlepool businesswoman and Manor House ward councillor Pamela Hargreaves is its chief executive.

She said: “We have an amazing team here at Water Babies who work so hard to provide world class teaching to all our little swimmers and I am delighted that so many local families have put their faith in us after this difficult year.

"To have 1,000 babies swimming with us every single week is just incredible.”

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Youngsters and their parents enjoying a Water Babies session at High Tunstall swimming pool.

Water Babies says swimming from an early age helps babies move independently before they can crawl or walk, strengthens hand-eye coordination, develops fine motor skills and strengthens the heart, lungs and muscles.

It also stimulates cognitive development and helps with eating and sleeping patterns.

Georgina Webster, mum to Darcy, two, said: “It is so important to give your children confidence in the water and the teachers at Water Babies do an amazing job to ensure you are happy and comfortable.”

The company uses High Tunstall and Springwell pools in Hartlepool and works with many partners in the leisure industry, including Stockton’s leading leisure provider Tees Active, which runs several centres across the region.

Leon Jones, Tees Active managing director, said: “It has been a pleasure working with them and the service they provide makes a huge difference to young children which allows them to build and develop their water confidence before enrolling onto Tees Active’s Learn to Swim Scheme.

"It’s a collaborative approach and great partnership.”

After its 1,000th swimmer joined at Ingleby Barwick, Pamela added: “It is such an exciting time to be involved in baby and toddler swimming.”

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