A former theatre designer who changed career paths to open a swimming school for children is planning to mark her first anniversary with a new business name chosen by the public.
Helen Stewart runs Helen’s School of Swimming but says the name was always supposed to be temporary. Now she is asking for help in choosing a new name – and offering a whole year of free classes for one child to whoever comes up with ‘THE’ name.
The mum-of-two, from Broadstairs, opened the school on January 6 this year after struggling to fit work and family together in her previous career.
She said: “I’m a theatre designer by trade, but was finding 12 hour dress rehearsals in Lancaster weren’t particularly compatible with a school run in Thanet. I decided to retrain to teach swimming as I couldn’t find any suitable classes to take my then three year old son to.
“I’ve always loved swimming, and did a bit of county swimming when I was younger. I think it’s so important for children to learn to swim, especially living on the coast. I’ve had such precious moments teaching my elder son to swim, it’s been an incredible bonding experience, the memory of the day he first swam across the pool, floating on his back like a little water angel, will stay with me forever.
“In October I was delighted to become an Aqua Sensory Certified swim school, which demonstrates a commitment to a child-led programme that values play and exploration within the learning process.
“To mark the first birthday of my little swim school, I’d love a new name! Helen’s School of Swimming is far from original and was just meant as a stand in. Something that reflects that we are child led, based in Kent perhaps, and love to have fun, swim and splash.
“We’ve had lots of suggestions, but I’m still hunting for the ONE, it’s worse than naming a child!”
Classes are for age groups age groups – 6-15months, 15-30months and two-and-a-half to 5 years. There are also pure Aqua Sensory classes where the emphasis is on building a positive relationship with water and sibling classes.