David and Hannah’s story

David’s wife and friends are keen swimmers, but David’s fear of water meant that he’d never had the confidence to learn to swim. He longed to be able to join the group in the pool when they went on holiday.

Seeing how much it meant to him, David’s support worker Hannah suggested they search for suitable swimming instructors nearby. Together they found a leisure centre that provided classes for small groups of people, and David began attending lessons.

It took almost two years for David to conquer his fear of water. In the beginning he watched from the observation area so that he could familiarise himself with the kinds of things he would be doing in the lessons. After a few months Hannah joined him in the pool, to provide extra guidance and help him to remain calm. Bit by bit, David relaxed more and more in the water, until eventually he gained the confidence to swim independently.

The most important aspect of David’s achievement was that he did it at his own pace. Ordinary swimming lessons might have left him behind or knocked his confidence, but because Hannah gave him all the time he needed to build his technique, David is now able to enjoy the pool alongside his family and friends.