Better leisure centres throughout Cornwall are helping children stay safe and enjoy the water this summer. 

Run by not-for-profit social enterprise GLL on behalf of Cornwall Council, the nine centres are backing the Royal Life Saving Society UK’s (RLSS UK) annual campaign (15-22 June) to prevent drowning by providing the skills and knowledge needed to make the right decisions about water safety.

This includes incorporating RLSS UK advice and guidance in all swim school lessons at the centres, prominently displaying relevant material and using fun activity sheets to emphasise the learning.  During the summer holidays, each of the centres will also be offering free water safety workshops.

On 23 June at St Austell Leisure Centre, free lessons on personal survival will be given by swim teacher Alys Pink from 10am to 11am (age 8+) and 11am to 12pm (age 6-8 years). Free Rookie Taster sessions will also be held at the centre from 1pm to 2 pm (age 8+) and 2pm to 3pm (age 8+).

Figures indicate that around 25 per cent of primary pupils leave school unable to swim.

“The pandemic has led to many young people not being able to either swim or rescue themselves if they get into difficulty,” said GLL Area Swim Lead Natallie Carter. “That’s why it’s so vitally important for children to know how to stay safe near water and why we are urging parents and carers to take advantage of the excellent themed resources available on the RLSS UK website. 

“Lifesaving and rescue skills are already an important part of our learn to swim programme – all the way from our Swimbies lessons up to Academy and Rookie Lifeguard. During Drowning Prevention Week, we are going that little bit further to emphasise the safety message because, in a county with 422 miles of coastline and more than 400 accessible beaches, we know it saves lives.”

Concessionary membership is available for those on a range of benefits and swim school pupils are entitled to swim for free at their home centre. They can also get a discounted rate at other Better leisure centres.

The Royal Life Saving Society UK’s Charity Director Lee Heard, said: “The UK’s beautiful waterways should be places where everyone feels at ease, and can take pleasure from their surroundings, whatever their age, whatever their activity level. But we’re urging people to educate themselves and others on how to enjoy water safely and prevent a fun day out ending in tragedy.
“The Drowning Prevention Week campaign is crucial because, in recent years, young people have missed out on the vital opportunity to swim, leaving a dramatic gap in school swimming and water safety education.”

Visit to access the charity’s free water safety resources. 

To find out what Better leisure centres in Bude, Saltash, Liskeard, St Austell, Bodmin, Newquay, Truro, Helston and St Ives are offering, visit