Royal Life Saving Society WA believes all children living in Australia have the right to access swimming and water safety education. With our beautiful climate and ready access to water for recreation it’s vital that children have basic swimming and water safety skills.

The Royal Life Saving Swim and Survive Fund aims to provide free or subsidised swimming and water safety lessons for children who would otherwise miss out due to social or economic disadvantage, cultural barriers or lack of access.

nehana at a swimming lesson

One young boy who benefited from this program this year is 4 year old Nehana Porter. Nehana is a little boy who faces a plethora of challenges in daily life. He has Autism, Hypotonia (low muscle tone), Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (connective tissue disorder), Anxiety, Speech Development Delay, Thermoregulatory Dysfunction (can’t control his temperature), and Sensory Processing Disorder. With all of this in play it is very difficult, if not impossible, for Nehana to attend regular swimming lessons with other children.

Royal Life Saving Society WA was able to assist Nehana and his family by providing one-on-one swimming lessons during the first half of 2016 at WannerooAquamotion, to enable him to learn vital swimming and water safety skills. We also provided petrol vouchers to assist his family in taking him to attend these lessons.

For Nehana term one was a real challenge, as the water created some discomfort for him that he was unable to verbally express. During the term he was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which allowed his family to understand his unexpected reaction to the swimming lessons. Nehana’s mum Angelique explains

“While the water soothes his Autism, it agitates his muscles and causes pain. The team at Wanneroo Aquamotion were very patient with Nehana, and made some adjustments to allow him to enjoy the lessons a lot more.”

Angelique says “We really appreciate the two terms of swimming lessons and fuel vouchers, we’re so thankful to everyone at The Royal Life Saving Society WA.”