Learning to swim is a key life skill for any child. Swimming lessons teach them independence, allows them to get active while enjoying themselves, gives them the ability to get themselves out of potentially life-threatening situations and enables them to fully enjoy trips to the seaside and beach holidays.

Swim England's research into school swimming and water safety in schools show that:

  • only 42% of children and young people with a low family affluence score can swim 25 metres unaided.
  • this compared to 86% of those with a high family affluence score.

Free 12-week course of swimming lessons

Therefore, those in receipt of certain benefits can access a free 12-week course of swimming lessons at Taro Leisure Centre, Alton Sports Centre and Whitehill & Bordon Leisure Centre.

The initiative, funded by East Hampshire District Council's Leaders Priority Fund, will launch on Monday 1 May 2023 and be delivered by our partners Everyone Active.

The scheme will follow the Swim England Learn to Swim Curriculum and be led by Swim England qualified Swimming Teachers with free lessons taking place once per week for 12-weeks.

This information is also available in Ukrainian.

Eligibility for free swimming lessons

You will be eligible if you receive any of the following:

  • Income support
  • Job seekers allowance
  • Pension credit
  • Housing benefit
  • Universal credit
  • Council tax benefit
  • Employment support allowance
  • Disability allowance or personal independence allowance

How to enrol onto the scheme

Please contact your local leisure centre for more information.

Terms and conditions

The scheme is available for:

  • Stages 1-5 swimming lessons
  • People with additional needs

More information on these sessions can be found on the Everyone Active website.

The scheme is open for new swimmers enrolling onto the learn to swim programme who fulfil the eligibility criteria.

You must bring your Everyone Active membership card with you on each visit to gain free access. This will be provided upon joining the scheme.

There are a limited number of spaces available and these will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis.