Helping parents overcome fear of water

It's been a busy few months during lockdown for Turtle Tots' teachers who are now trained to assist adults suffering from water phobia.

Helping parents overcome fear of water

It’s been a busy few
months during lockdown for Turtle Tots’
teachers who are now trained to assist adults suffering from water phobia

Although swimming pools remain closed until further notice, Turtle Tots have used this ‘downtime’ constructively to update the skills of its already highly-qualified teachers.

While the Government attempts to bring the spread of Covid-19 under control, the teachers employed by franchisor Turtle
have been learning how to help adults overcome their fear of water.

Turtle Tots, who began trading in 2011, has over 50 franchisees
around the UK
employing more than 200 trained teachers.

And in partnership with the Aquaphobia Learning
(ALP), Turtle Tots has become the first UK-wide swim school to equip its staff with the knowledge and expertise to assist adults who suffer extreme anxiety when faced with stepping into a swimming pool.

Dan Allen, the company’s managing director, explained: “Over the years, we’ve seen many parents come to our lessons who say they have some fear of water, which usually stems from a difficult or traumatic childhood experience.

“In fact, this is often why they come to Turtle
, because they want to make sure their own baby is comfortable and happy in the water from an early age.

“With millions of adults in the UK having some level of water phobia, many never even attend baby swimming lessons because of their own inherent fear.

“Sadly, this means their children miss out on all of the many health, safety and fun aspects associated with swimming.”

Turtle Tots was co-founded by Caroline Sparks and Gaby Lixton, and has its headquarters in Bristol.

The company is hoping swimming pools will be given the green light, by the Government, to re-open in early July.

And Dan added: “The lockdown presented us with the opportunity to use the downtime positively, to broaden our teachers’ skills for the benefit of our customers, when we return.

“The ALP training, which all of our teachers are in the process of completing, will provide them with the empathy, skills and knowledge needed to help adults overcome their phobia in a safe, controlled baby swimming environment.

“Through this, we hope to lead the way by encouraging even more adults to bring their children to lessons, so that they are given the opportunity to learn a key life skill from an early age.”

Turtle Tots, which provide baby and infant swimming programmes, was named ‘Franchisor of the Year’ at the 2019 Approved Franchise Association awards’ ceremony held in Milton Keynes.

They also offer aqua-natal yoga for pregnant women across the UK and Ireland, while Turtle Tots’ teachers were among the first in the UK’s baby swim industry to hold the highest STA Level 3 Diploma for Aquatic Teaching.

Dan went on: “When the lockdown on pools is lifted, our teachers will return with a new focus for the parents in our classes.

“We want to give parents, who have a fear of water, every assurance they will be in the safe hands of a professional teacher who understands the enormous impact that water phobia can have on a person’s life.” 

Andy Swales
Andy Swales