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Dive into the end of summer with free swimming lessons!

Want to learn how to swim, but feel like you missed the boat? Learn the basics by signing up for a free course sponsored by Southwark Council, writes Hillary Chaisson… 

Swim England estimates that one and five adults in the UK are unable to swim

Southwark Council is teaming up with Everyone Active to make it easier for non-swimmers ages sixteen and up to learn to swim with free swimming lessons.

Cllr Rebecca Lury, said: “Back in 2016 Southwark became the first council in London to run a free gym and swim programme for all residents.

“Now we are also the only council in London to offer free swimming lessons to our residents.

“I am incredibly proud that Southwark is once again demonstrating that we are a borough that leads the way when it comes to investing in the well-being of our residents and investing in services that help to keep people active at every stage in their lives.”

For 30 minutes over twelve weeks non-swimmers will learn to move around the pool with confidence, practice skills with swimming aids and begin to feel assured to swim independently.

Classes will start in mid-September and run for twelve weeks.

Starting in January 2020, lessons for adults sixteen and over will take place in all council-run leisure centres within the borough.

As of now adults aged fifteen to 69 must book lessons at Peckham Pulse Leisure Centre.

Those over 60 or residents with disabilities over sixteen can book at any of the centres listed below:

You can book your free lessons in five easy steps:

  1. Check when lessons are available each week by going to:
  2. Fill in a request form after clicking to register stating your preference of when you’d like to have lessons.
  3. Everyone Active will contact you by phone or email to offer you a lesson slot. If a suitable slot is not available you’ll be put on a waiting list.
  4. You confirm you’d like to accept the place if one is offered.
  5. Bring proof of your address to the leisure centre on the day of your first lesson

Each swimmer needs to bring their own swimming equipment, which should include:

  • An appropriate swimming costume
  • Towel
  • Swim hat (recommended for anyone with hair that can get in your eyes)
  • Goggles (recommended for anyone that doesn’t like water in their eyes)
  • £1 coin or a padlock for changing room lockers




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