Parents issued warning that a million children could leave primary school not knowing how to swim
Thanks to the Covid pandemic, over five million swimming sessions were cancelled
Parents have been issued a stern warning that over a million primary school children could still be unable to swim.
The warning comes after a fourteen-year-old girl from Cheshire drowned after she jumped into a pond to rescue her friend.
Nicola Davis says she doesn’t want other families to go through the trauma of losing a child – her daughter Teya drowned after her friend slipped into a pond and she tried to rescue her.
She told ITV News: “It is hard, I don’t want to see another family go through what we are going through. Personally with my own kids I want them to know how to swim and save a life.”
Normally, the national curriculum requires children to be able to swim twenty-five metres unaided before they leave primary school – but lockdown has meant that over the next five years, more than one million children could leave without being able to achieve that.
Swimming instructors have also reported a sharp drop in access to pools and leisure centres during the pandemic.
The national body for Swimming, Swim England, seconded this and added that the impact of Covid means more than one million children could leave primary school unable to swim.
The statistics show that more than five million swimming sessions – the vast majority being swimming lessons – were lost following the closure of public pools for the first time on March 20th, 2020.
To try and tackle this issue, Swim England has now joined forces with nine swimming pool operators up and down the country to urge parents and guardians to ensure children return to ‘safe and secure’ swimming lessons as part of its latest #LoveSwimming campaign.
For more information, visit the Swim England website here.
Blackpool named one of Britain’s worst seaside towns
We know it’s tacky but that’s why we love it!
Blackpool has been ranked among the worst of 20 seaside towns in Britain, by The Telegraph.
The Telegraph looked at how well 20 classic seaside resorts have adapted to changing times and ‘studied how they have adapted – or not – over the past three decades’. Among those ranked as the worst in Britain were the North West’s coastal towns of Blackpool, receiving a pitiful 22 out of 100, Morecambe (24 out of 100), and Southport (28 out of 100).
The news outlet wrote: ”Big seaside cities, like Blackpool and Brighton, have always had pockets of money as well as misery…” Looking at factors such as housing and high streets, renovations and conservation, as well as the cultural clout that so often accompanies gentrification, the publication ranked Rhyl as the worst resort with a meagre five out of 100.
It was also bad news for the North East as South Shields came in near the bottom of the barrel scoring just 11 out of 100. Scarborough was rated just 39 out of 100 — perhaps its sweeping sandy beaches, rugged castle ruins and museums didn’t quite cut it?
But there was better news for two South West towns, with St Ives in Cornwall rated number one (98/100), while nearby Lyme Regis came in fourth, with 85/100.
Here’s the list of Britain’s 20 best and worst towns, according to The Telegraph.
20) Rhyl 5/100
19) South Shields 11/100
18) Weston-Super-Mare 18/100
17) Blackpool 22/100
16) Morecambe 24/100
15) Cleethorpes 27/100
14) Southport 28/100
13) Torquay 33/100
12) Southend-on-Sea 36/100
11) Scarborough 39/100
10) Worthing 47/100
9) Portstewart 53/100
8) Tenby 57/100
7) Margate 69/100
6) Brighton 76/100
5) North Berwick 80/100
4) Lyme Regis 85/100
3) Whitstable 87/100
2) Southwold 94/100
1) St Ives 98/100
You can now get a cheese Easter egg to celebrate ‘Cheester’ properly
Call off the hunt…they’re back!
From the brand Butler’s Farmhouse Cheeses, these epic alternative Easter eggs come in two flavours: cheddar and blue cheese — sounds pungent!
Sold in a box to look exactly like their chocolatey Easter egg counterparts, you won’t feel odd opting for a cheesy seasonal delight rather than the accepted chocolate kind.
Displayed in the box, it looks as though you’ll have an awkward fully-round egg-shaped block of the creamy stuff, making it hard to slice. You actually get half an egg, so the back of it is flat and ready to be sliced lay down on a cheeseboard.
Weighing 120g, the Easter egg halves are made with the very best Butlers cheeses — their traditional Farmhouse Cheddar and their gold award-winning blue cheese, Blacksticks Blue.
At first glance they may look solid, but the cheeses have been blended to make a softer cheese consistency, so they’re easy to chop a chunk out of. The website says: “We’ve done it again and made something truly egg-cellent, the combination of award winning Farmhouse British Cheese and an Easter egg.
“Delicious and versatile, this half egg will make a sensational centrepiece for your cheeseboard, a gift for the cheese lover, or simply spread on a hot cross bun!
“Perfect for a savoury and cheesy gift this Easter and the perfect surprise for your children’s Easter egg hunt, or on the Easter Sunday cheeseboard. Available on their own, or as a letterbox gift complete with crackers and chutney!”
You can purchase Butlers Cheeseter eggs online at Amazon where the cheddar and the blue cheese versions cost £9.99 each, and can be delivered straight to your door.
The cheesy eggs also come in letterbox style packages accompanied with a chutney and crackers to complete your cheeseboard.
Cheese Easter eggs have actually been about for a little while now, but they’re still few and far between in supermarkets. Marks and Spencer had ‘Cheester’ covered a couple of years back when it sold some from Barber’s Farmhouse Cheddar. They came in an actual egg box and the eggs were filled with a ‘yolk’ of 18-month matured Red Leicester — innovative or what?!
If you or someone you know is a cheese lover, you know what to get them this Easter…a big cheesy egg.
Five planets to be visible in UK night sky this month in rare celestial event
Let’s hope for a clear sky!
Stargazers are in for a spectacular treat later this month as five planets of the solar system will be visible from Earth as part of a rare celestial event.
On March 28th, Jupiter, Mercury, Uranus, Mars and Venus are expected to appear to line up together in a small section of the sky shortly after sunset. While it’s not unusual to see two or three planets aligned, to see five is more uncommon — it happened last year, as well as in both 2020 and 2016 prior to that.
Two of the brighter planets — Mercury and Jupiter — will be noticeable near the horizon, while Venus is expected to shine higher in the sky. Although a pair of binoculars may be needed to be able to see Uranus, Mars should be visible to the naked eye, in the alignment near to the first quarter of the moon.
Last year, stargazers in the northern hemisphere had the amazing opportunity to gaze at Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn all at once.
To easily identify the planets this month, the educational astronomy app Star Walk recommends using the app Sky Tonight — which can be pointed at the night sky to give a live display of what is going on.
The planets are expected to be aligned in a 50-degree sky sector, which means that they will appear closer together from Earth in a small area above. This visual phenomenon differs from an astronomical alignment, which refers to when planets come together simultaneously on the same side of the sun.
Beth Biller, of the University of Edinburgh, told The MailOnline that some planets would be much easier to see than others, saying: “Venus and Jupiter are both very bright and easy to pick out and you may have already seen them close together over the past few weeks.
“Mars is a bit fainter, but still easily observed with the naked eye. Mercury starts getting tricky — you need to be at a dark site with a clear view of the horizon if you want to see Mercury. Uranus is the faintest and hardest to see – you’ll need binoculars or a telescope to see Uranus.”
Skywatchers don’t need to worry if they miss out on the spectacle, as Star Walk said a number of other planetary alignments will take place this year. Less than a month later Mercury, Uranus, Venus and Mars are expected to align once again in a 35-degree sky sector.
Then on April 24th, a 40-degree sector will take place seeing Mars, Venus, Uranus and Mercury gathering together — with even more planetary alignments happening throughout the summer.