Kim and I have been friends since we were 8 years old and at Junior School together back in the 70’s.
We were close friends when Kim’s little sister tragically drowned at the age of 6, during their summer family holiday in Bournemouth. This had a devastating effect on the whole family and although I too was only a 12-year-old child at the time, I found it hard to accept that a young child’s life could be taken so quickly.
When we were 18 Kim traveled to Europe and eventually married and settled in Switzerland, where she had two children of her own. About the same time I met my husband and lived in Italy for a while before returning to the UK and settling down and also starting a family.
In 2013 Kim moved back to the UK with her family and settled back in Birmingham. I was living in Oxford at the time but we often met up and eventually I moved back to Birmingham to be closer to my family.
Kim had told me about how she had trained to be a swim instructor using a Swiss method devised by Jean Fouace and how she taught this method. I was simply amazed when I saw photos of what she had been teaching.
I was so impressed with the method that I also completed all the necessary training with the view to one day become a Bébés Amphibies instructor. I joined Kim at the beginning, working part time some evenings a week alongside my full – time job, and spent my spare time and weekends with Kim in the office building up the business to what it is today. The company has grown so much since we first started out and we now teach around 250 children a week.
When Kim decided to set up Bébés Amphibies in the UK, one of her first clients was my 9-month-old Grandson Ollie, as I wanted him to learn the skill to be able to float if he ever got into difficulty and to swim as soon as possible.
When we launched here we re-branded the company image for the UK market and Jean chose Ollie to become the face of Bébés Amphibies UK and it is his photo aged 9 months old on our logo.
We have decided that now is the time to look to expand to other pools so I recently joined Kim full time to allow us to take this method to pools across the UK and to train other teachers so we can teach as many children as possible this important lifesaving skill.
I am so proud to be part of this journey and I am looking forward to taking Bébés Amphibies to the next stage of the adventure and teach this method to as many children as possible in as many areas as possible.