Children’s Alliance

MyBump2Baby Expert Podcast


children's alliance
  • Children’s Alliance

Today on mybump2baby’s expert podcast we are joined by Tamsin Brewis from Water Babies, Tamsin shares more about the new charity Water Babies have set up and their reasons behind it. 

We also find out more about water babies lessons.

To find your nearest swimming provider visit 

Childrens alliance website

Link to the petition

Link to the conference – 26th June all day £20

Water Babies

[00:00:00] Carla: We are Google’s number one, baby and toddler directory. We cover everything from pregnancy to preschool, and we are home to over 8,000 business listings. Join over 160,000 parents using our website each month, and you can find your local groups, classes, services, and support in your local area. Are you looking for local baby and toddler swimming lessons in your local area?

[00:00:33] Carla: Head over to to find your nearest swimming lessons.

[00:00:52] Carla: Hello and welcome to My Bump 2 Baby Expert podcast, where we bring experts from all over the uk. To answer your questions on everything pregnancy to preschool.

[00:01:14] Carla: Today we are joined by the lovely Tamsin Brewis again. We love Tamsin and we’re really excited to have her back on this podcast, we’re gonna be talking about a new charity that Water Babies have set up and the reasons behind it. And we’re also gonna be talking a little more about how your children could benefit from going to a Water Babies swimming lesson.

[00:01:37] Carla: I hope you enjoy this episode. Hello everybody and welcome to My Bump 2 Baby’s Expert podcast. Today I am joined by Tamsin Brewis from Water Babies, and we’re gonna be talking all about a really exciting new charity that Water Babies are setting up. So, hello Tamsin. How are you? 

[00:02:00] Tamsin: I’m very well, very well, Carla. How are 

[00:02:02] Carla: you doing?

[00:02:02] Carla: I’m very well, thank you. Very well. The sun’s finally come out, um, here, um, up north where I am. So it’s actually really nice to look out and there’s actually sun shining for a change. 

[00:02:14] Tamsin: I, I know the feeling. We’ve got sun here as well down south, so, uh, let’s hope it lasts. Keep your fingers and toes crossed.

[00:02:20] Carla: Oh, definitely, definitely. Tamsin can you introduce yourself and tell our listeners a little bit about you? 

[00:02:28] Tamsin: Absolutely I can do that. Um, my name is Tamsin Brewis and I’m a Water babies franchisee, and I’ve been a franchisee for, it’d be 19 years this year, which is a wee bit scary if I’m honest with you. Um, and at Water Babies we run swimming classes.

[00:02:43] Tamsin: From birth through to, uh, five years of age teaching little ones to swim. And we are very excited cause we recently introduced an addition to our program that we call Oceans of Imagination, where we take the children to imaginary islands with imaginary characters who help teach the children to swim and learn their core aqua skills and safety skills.

[00:03:04] Tamsin: Um, so there are lots of colourful characters that they’ll now see in the pool during our lessons. So, um, yeah, that’s, that’s what I do. As I say, I’ve been running water babies, uh, franchise now for 19 years, and I teach in centre of the country from Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, north Hamptonshire, um, a bit of Oxfordshire as well.

[00:03:24] Carla: Wow. Yes. Wow. 19 years. That’s amazing. I know what you mean. It is. It is scary how first time goes. It really is, isn’t it? 

[00:03:32] Tamsin: You’re very much so. Especially when your little little ones come up to you who are now sort of teenagers and say, hi, Tamsin. You know, you taught me when I was a baby, and that’s. That’s a wee bit’s scary, but, uh, good to see. Good to see.

[00:03:44] Carla: It is, it is. And it’s a nice that you’ve found your, you know, your passion and, and I know you are really passionate about, about children’s swimming, so it’s it’s great. 

[00:03:53] Tamsin: Very much so. Very much so. I think it’s a life skill and I think every child should have the opportunity to learn to swim. And access to water, you know, for water play, all those sorts of things. I think it’s really important. 

[00:04:06] Carla: I think what we’ll do after, after this, cuz we’re gonna be talking a little bit about, um, this, this new charity, and I’m really excited to talk to you about this, but a afterwards, if it’s all right with you, what we’ll do is just go through a, a few questions I’ve got around water babies. Is that okay? 

[00:04:20] Tamsin: Yes, of course it is.

[00:04:21] Carla: Oh, perfect. So first of all, Tamsin, why have Water Babies decided to set up a charity? 

[00:04:29] Tamsin: Well, um, because Water Babies very much like to give back, want to be able to give back and back in 2019, and maybe a little bit earlier than that, our Chief Operating officer at the time, Steve Franks, um, became involved in, with a all parliamentary party group for the fit and healthy child and became very passionate about the idea of children being better represented, um, in government, uh, because there is, uh, well, I would say it’s well known, but there’s masses of research that proves that if children are given the best start in life, they will become healthy adults and we need a healthy adult population, um, in this country.

[00:05:09] Tamsin: So he started, um, the, the, the sort of stages of setting up a charity. Um, and unfortunately we obviously went into Covid and in, we lost Steve um, to Covid, which was really sad. Um, but coming out of Covid as Water Babies, we made the decision that we would pick up the, the reins and carry this forward as part of his legacy.

[00:05:31] Tamsin: And so what we have been doing is setting up a charity and, um, deciding what our aims and objective are for our charity. And we are now in the process of, uh, so, uh, we call ourselves a charity, but our application is just with the charities commission at the moment. But what we have done is divided our aims into two areas.

[00:05:53] Tamsin: The first one being, um, that as Water Babies, we will support projects which are associated with water. So this may mean. Um, helping or providing finances to help children get to swimming lessons, or it might be, um, providing water play equipment, or it might be providing swimming lessons themselves for a charity.

[00:06:13] Tamsin: So a whole range of things, but water must be involved. It’s very important that water is involved in that because that’s what we are about, and that’s what we know about. And the second part of our charity is carrying on Steve’s campaign. Where we would like the government to take notice and include children in their policies so that, uh, at a very early stage so that children, young people are represented.

[00:06:36] Tamsin: And ultimately, which would, what would be idea, and it did happen back in, uh, 2014 labor government, that we have a, a department for children, young people, which represent our children. So that’s what, uh, why we decided to set up the charity and that’s where we’re, we’re heading. 

[00:06:51] Carla: That’s brilliant. So I know you’ve probably touched on this a little bit then, but, but what is the whole purpose of the charity then?

[00:06:58] Tamsin: So the purpose of the charity, so we, um, we do some fundraising. We do a big fundraising every two years where we raise money, uh, for Tommy’s the baby charity, which we have supported now for, uh, I think about 14 years and raised over about 5 million pounds. For them. 

[00:07:14] Carla: Wow. 

[00:07:15] Tamsin: Um, and going forward, we will continue to raise money for Tommy’s, but as also we will raise money for the Children’s Alliance and then we will be able to use that money to support, um, these projects, um, that we’re identifying that associate with water. Really. 

[00:07:31] Carla: That’s great. That’s brilliant. So why then did you decide, I mean, I think I know the answer to this, but why did you decide to base your community around water?

[00:07:42] Tamsin: Uh, because it’s what we know about. Yeah. Ideally what we, we would really love to do is be able to give every child access to swimming lessons.

[00:07:51] Tamsin: Um, and there, but there are some, some problems with that or some, uh, hurdles that need to be jumped. But so, so we’ve now, um, Recently given out five grant applications in our first round of grant applications. And so for example, we’ve given money to, um, a project for disabled children who get to go swimming, um, at their local hydrotherapy pool once, once a month.

[00:08:17] Tamsin: Um, but now the money will mean that they can go once a week, um, for the next year basically. So we’re helping those. For those children, have access to swimming lessons. Whereas we have another project where, um, we have some inner city schools, um, in Birmingham who, um, the children can’t go swimming or go to their swimming lessons cause they don’t have swimwear.

[00:08:38] Tamsin: So what we are doing is giving them the money so that they can go swimming and buy the swimwear. So, and it, it gives us a bit more breadth of what we can do and what we can offer. Um, and it means that if it gives children access to, uh, swimming pools and to water, then that’s what we want to be able to do.

[00:08:56] Carla: That’s incredible. That is so lovely. I love that. Um, and, and how are you then Tamsin supporting the campaign? I know you’re quite, quite involved with it, aren’t you really? 

[00:09:08] Tamsin: Um, I am involved with it. So the beginning of, uh, well, uh, last year, sort of February, March last year, I, um, applied to, to Water Babies to take on a role to help run the Children’s Alliance.

[00:09:22] Tamsin: So I’m a director at the Children’s Alliance and, um, I spent half my time running my Water Babies franchise, the franchise, and the other half running Children’s Alliance effectively is what I do. So, um, it’s been a, a big learning curve, um, but I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved in the short space of time and where we’re going with it all at the moment.

[00:09:43] Carla: Oh, it’s so exciting. It really is. And, and so how can, um, we all support you? 

[00:09:50] Tamsin: So, um, we’d love you to support us. Um, and one way we’d really like you to support us is by signing our petition, um, cuz we are, we have a petition that we’d like to be able to present to the Prime Minister. So if you go onto, uh, cabinet Minister for Children and sign the petition, that would be very much appreciated cuz the more signatures that we have, The better.

[00:10:13] Tamsin: We also for our campaign have, um, we write some reports, um, to show why uh, it is important to support our young people. They’re available on our website, circulating those to various people. It is a good thing to do. Certainly, we’d really appreciate that. And if you’d like to become a supporter of the Children’s Alliance and work with us, um, going onto our website, which is, um, and saying you’d like to be a supporter, we will then keep you involved and we’d ask you to help spread the word about the Children’s Alliance.

[00:10:44] Tamsin: The last thing we are doing is we have a conference coming up on the 26th of June in Worcester, um, where we have some fantastic speakers who are talking about children’s issues of mental health, physical exercise, nutrition, and uh, we’d ask you to come and support that. Buy some tickets. They’re only 20 pounds each.

[00:11:04] Tamsin: And you’re gonna hear some amazing speakers actually, um, from academia, but also from the world of sport. And, um, from a gentleman called Omar Sharif, who is a speaker who has met many challenges in his life as he’s grown up and will be coming to. And his, he now does a lot of work, to be honest with you, in schools helping children overcome challenges. So yeah, come and support us there. 

[00:11:28] Carla: That’s amazing. And what we’ll do, um, I know you’ve mentioned a few different links there. We’ll pop those all under this podcast so you can just. Click on those and, and sign the forms. And also if you wanna purchase the tickets, you can do that via, via this podcast. Um, Tamsin. That’s amazing. It sounds so good. Um, it sounds like a great event as well. Is it an all day event? 

[00:11:49] Tamsin: It’s an all day event. So lunch is included, uh, begins about 10 o’clock and it’s, uh, Uh, for once it’s a conference where it’s face-to-face, so you get the chance to speak to the speakers, and we’ve got workshops there as well.

[00:12:02] Tamsin: Um, and we wanted to do that rather than a Zoom conference, mainly because I think many of us have found that Zoom works brilliantly for 101 things, but actually that face-to-face really helps, um, and sparks ideas. And we want to be able to leave the conference with ideas that we can take forward, um, on, on our campaign and use them in that area.

[00:12:23] Carla: That’s brilliant. That’s really good. Thank you so much for telling us about that. Um, I really appreciate that. As I said, all the links will be underneath and My Bump 2 Baby will obviously be sharing those across our socials as well. Um, so Tamsin, while we’ve got you on here, you don’t mind sharing a little bit more about Water Babies, do you?

[00:12:42] Carla: And uh, cuz we, we obviously we love Water Babies and we want more and more parents to know about what you guys offer. Is that, is that all right with you? 

[00:12:51] Tamsin: Of course it is. Yes, of course.

[00:12:53] Carla: Oh, perfect. So Tamsin with Water Babies, when would, um, a parent think about bringing their child to your classes? 

[00:13:01] Tamsin: So, uh, really when they’re ready is the very honest answer. Um, I know what it’s like as a, a, a new parent with a newborn baby, um, that sometimes it might take a few weeks. To get, get yourself sorted and get some sort of routine going. Um, or if you’ve had a cesarean, you may have to wait 12 weeks as a mum to be able to get in the pool, but that doesn’t make, say dad can’t come earlier.

[00:13:23] Tamsin: Um, those sorts of factors. So really it’s when you are ready, but babies can swim from birth. Um, and at, at really the, if you wanted your baby to swim from a very young age, I’m talking about a month old, that sort of age. You need to, um, they need to go to a hydrotherapy pool, which are warm water pools, 32 degrees plus.

[00:13:44] Tamsin: Um, because little ones really don’t regulate their own body temperatures very well until they’re about a, a year in age. Um, if they’re over about three months of age, then there is no reason why they can’t go into a pool, which is 30 degrees plus. Yes. You know, people do go so into the big leisure pools, which are 29 degrees, but it’s really important you keep an eye on your your baby to make sure that they don’t get cold quickly. 

[00:14:09] Carla: And, and with, um, I know you mentioned your classes earlier in this podcast. Can you tell us a little bit more about what makes them so special? 

[00:14:18] Tamsin: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, they’re, they’re great fun more than anything. It’s not worth doing it if they’re not fun. Um, but a Water Babies is, we spend a lot of time training our teachers. In fact, it probably takes about three months to train our teachers and get them through, um, all their qualifications and they come out with a level three diploma, um, in baby swimming. Um, and the reason I mentioned that is because it means that they become very well equipped, um, and know the basics of the skills that they need to teach, and I sometimes equate it. It’s a bit, a little bit like having a, a bag of tricks and tools that you can use in the swimming lessons, but also taking some time to learn. They then have the confidence to teach because you are teaching. Uh, Parents and babies in the swimming pool. So it means that they, our lessons are structured and they’re teacher led.

[00:15:10] Tamsin: So what we do is we will introduce a, a skill, a new skill, and then over the weeks we’ll progress that skill as well as repeat that skill. Because children always learn through repetition. Um, and we have reasons behind, and in fact, skills can develop from birth. All the way through until the children are sort of five years of age.

[00:15:30] Tamsin: So there’s very much structure in our classes, and we are known for the structure. Um, and, but at the same time, obviously fun comes into that. Um, that’s really, really important to us. But we have this tool, um, this bag of tools if you like, which means we are very adaptable to the needs of the children in the class.

[00:15:48] Tamsin: So it’s not just a case of this is what you’re going to do, what you go and do it. Um, it’s a case of, well, this is what you’re gonna do. This is. Off you go and do it. However, you little one are gonna do this, and you little one are going to do that because either they’re not quite there yet or they’re further advanced or they’re nervous or something else is going on in their lives.

[00:16:06] Tamsin: So we’re known for our adaptability in the class and teaching very much about what we see in front of us, um, with the children and with the parents, because obviously it’s really important the parents are, are, uh, you know, backing you and working with you in this situation.

[00:16:22] Carla: That’s great. That’s brilliant. And um, Tamsin, can you just tell us a, a little bit of a history, I’m catching you off guard here, but from Water Babies when they started and, and how big they are now. Cause they’re absolutely huge, aren’t they now?

[00:16:37] Tamsin: Yeah, so Water Babies, um, is a national company, uh, national franchise organisation, and we teach, I think, nearly. Uh, pretty much all over the UK. Maybe, you know, uh, not the top of the mountains, but yeah. And you should be able to find classes virtually everywhere else. We currently teach about 45,000 children a week to swim. We also have offices, um, now in, uh, China, Germany, Holland, America. Um, as well. Um, so we’ve expanded ac, you know, across the seas.

[00:17:10] Tamsin: Um, so there are, and Ireland should say Ireland as well. Um, so you should be able to find a Water Babies virtually anywhere, um, in the country, um, in the UK and Ireland. Um, but certainly we’re expanding across as well. Um, and we, all the children we’re teaching are in, that’s pretty much that age bracket of naught to naught to five.

[00:17:30] Carla: Oh, that’s brilliant. That’s great. So, um, what I’ll do is I’ll share the links as well as of where you can find, um, your local Water babies class as well. So, Tamsin, thank you so much for sharing all that of that information. It’s been really, really interesting. 

[00:17:46] Tamsin: Thank you, Carlo. I really appreciate your time as well. It’s lovely to see you again. 

[00:17:50] Carla: Oh, thank you. 

[00:17:52] Tamsin: Take care. 

[00:17:54] Carla: Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode of My Bump 2 Baby’s Expert Podcast. If you wanna view the links that Tamsin mentioned within her episode, then head on down to the bottom of this podcast where you’ll see all the links mentioned. My Bump 2 Baby is one of the UK’s leading parenting platforms. You can find local pregnancy to preschool groups, classes, and lessons wherever you are in the uk. Not only that, but you can read our honest reviews on the latest products, days out, and services that you as parents need to know about. We also work with trusted financial advisors, family, law, solicitors, and now estate agents too.

[00:18:43] Carla: If you would like to find your nearest trusted expert, head over to

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