Purpose of the project

January 2022- January 2023

The aim of this project was to encourage women to become active and enjoy themselves so that this would be something they would continue. After the challenges of covid-19 we had been working tirelessly to bring people together with the aim of introducing a better lifestyle which would include being more active. This would be achieved through the opportunity to participate in the activity of swimming for women who live in the Borough of Bury.

We had 38 local women and girls who expressed interest to take part in. Many of the women came from traditional cultural backgrounds and from the BAME communities. The group was largely consisted of women who had very little time for themselves due to being fulltime stay home mums.


Many women mentioned weekly swimming sessions helped them destress and relax. They further highlighted that as they are attending regularly, they were noticing lower stress levels and better sleeping patterns which improved their mental health and enhanced their movement physically.


Alongside the swimming sessions, we also had Healthy Meal sessions which involved the women prepping and cooking different meals with the aim of teaching the participants healthier ways to cook food. And example of this is introducing the participants to cooking equipment such as an air fryer which helped the women consume healthier meals and a more balanced diet. They were further educated on the importance of a healthy diet and they ways in which it can influence and help reduce the risk of illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes. 


Feedback from participants:

I’ve always had a fear of water and the deep end due to my experience, with some encouragement I went to the session,

I had my arm bands on and still do, I feel more confident that my arm bands will come off soon! Generally, since joining I feel as though I’m not out of breath as much when running up the stairs. Supporting Sisters have signed me and other women up to swimming lessons to build my confidence, I look forward to this every week’

Nargis (56)  


I suffer from back and shoulder problems, since coming swimming I feel less tensed and feeling more mobile, walking in water has made a difference as I’m not a strong swimmer. Meeting more ladies and making new friends has made me want to go out too’

Rashida Bi (68)


A challenge we were met with during the planning for this project was finding a swimming centre which could accommodate all 38 women in a women’s only session with female lifeguards. Due to the struggle with this and our local swimming centre being unable to meet these requirements, we travelled out of town to Rochdale leisure centre. Here the staff were able to provide female lifeguards and women’s only sessions twice a week. Furthermore, the women were provided with access to amenities such as a sauna and multiple steam rooms. Taking into account of the women’s previous swimming history, we were able to provide all 12 of the ladies who did not know how to swim with swimming lessons so that this was a workout/ activity they could continue onwards. 

Funded by: Sports England