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Mildenhall West Suffolk

New swimmers brave water on glorious sunny day

The first of 4 waves of swimmers enjoying the River lark, monitored by newly trained outdoor swimming lifeguards

Scores of new swimmers braved the water at Mildenhall Jubilee Fields on a glorious sunny day last weekend.

On Sunday, 6th June, 100 people in 4 sessions were introduced to the joys of outdoor swimming and how to do it safely, as part of the Healing Waters project, delivered by The Brecks Fen Edge and Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme.

They came out buzzing, with smiles on their faces, keen to take up this increasingly popular activity.

The day was a great success thanks to the project’s 25 volunteers and lifeguards, which included some, newly trained by the Project, on their first official outing.

The event was welcomed by Mildenhall’s mayor, Jane Busuttil, Deputy Mayor Ian Shipp, and David Palmer from the River Lark Catchment Partnership which promotes conservation of the river.

Jane Busuttil, Mayor Mildenhall High Town Council, said: “How fantastic to see such a good number of people interested in open water swimming at the Jubilee Field path into the River Lark in Mildenhall. It was a very well organised event, and we hope to welcome back the Healing Waters project in the future. It was especially pleasing to hear that a number of lifeguards at this event were newly qualified.”

The BFER Lifeguards with Jane Busuttil, Ian Shipp and BFER Scheme Manager Nick Dickson

Ian Shipp, Deputy Mayor Mildenhall High Town Council, added: “What a great event, I was really impressed with the enthusiasm of your swimmers who all appeared to thoroughly enjoy themselves. I must also say how professional your newly trained Lifeguards were and how happily they carried out their duties. And well done to you and all of your volunteers for organising and running such a successful event! I look forward to seeing more swimming in The Lark in the future.”

Imogen Radford, Healing Waters project lead, said: “Outdoor swimming is a fun outdoors activity with benefits to mental and physical health and is a great way to get close to nature. It is getting more and more popular, but people don’t always have the have the knowledge and confidence to participate and to do it safely. So, this project aims to give people the chance to do this in a safe environment so that they can learn how to go and enjoy it for themselves.

It was wonderful to see this coming together and so many people going off with big smiles on their faces, eager for their next swim.”

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