Brother now learning swim survival after Wigan family tragedy

A toddler is learning how to stay safe in water, after his older brother tragically drowned in a swimming pool.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 4:55 am

Presley Stockton was just four when he died while on a family holiday in Tenerife in September 2018.

Now, his brother Preston Jolley, who was born 10 months later, is receiving training to prevent another tragedy.

The 22-month-old has been doing swim survival training with DoIt4Loui, which was set up by Hindley Green mum Emma Aspinall after her own two-year-old son Loui drowned while on holiday in Tunisia in 2013.

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Kirsty and Preston Jolley in the pool with Emma Aspinall

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Wigan mum wants to teach children how to stay safe in water in memory of her fou...

It can ensure youngsters stay safe in the water and potentially save their lives.

Seeing Preston in the pool was an emotional moment for the boys’ mother Kirsty Jolley, who lives in Hindley.

She said: “I’m not going to lie, it was hard to see him in the water. It was hard, but I know it was something that he needed and I know he’s in the best hands with Emma.”

Kirsty Jolley with son Presley Stockton

And luckily Preston was happy to be in the pool.

“He loved it and was laughing away,” Kirsty said.

“He took to it really well. He got floating straight away.

“He absolutely loves water and that’s why I need to get him to swim survival.”

Preston learned a range of skills and spent time in the water in clothes, so he would know what to do.

His mother joined him in the water for the final session and he received a certificate to mark the completion of his training.

Kirsty said: “He needed to learn the vital parts of swimming, like going to the steps and feeling out for them, and turning over and floating.”

The lessons being run by Emma, who took action after the death of her own son, made a real difference to Kirsty.

She said: “I wouldn’t have trusted my little boy with anyone else.”

Despite the emotions that came with seeing her son in the water, Kirsty believes it is vital for Preston to know what to do to stay safe. She is doing whatever she can to prevent another tragedy hitting her family.

She also hopes to prevent other families having similar experiences and is currently fund-raising for a trip to the USA, where she will learn how to provide swim survival training.

Kirsty has so far raised £4,000 of the £11,000 she will need to be able to attend the four-week course.

She has raised money by organising raffles, collecting donations and thanks to DoIt4Loui donating £1,800 to her appeal.

Kirsty is now busy planning more fund-raisers, including a trek up Ben Nevis on June 19. It is hoped a summer fun day can also be held, depending on coronavirus restrictions.

Once she has reached her fund-raising goal and been to the USA, she hopes to be able to teach youngsters how to stay safe in water alongside Emma.

Kirsty, 26, thought about doing the training for around a year and wondered how she would feel being around water again. But she says she woke up one morning and knew she wanted to do it.

Kirsty said: “I want to do this for my little boy Presley so I can keep his memory alive.

“I’m following in the footsteps of Emma Aspinall. She has been amazing.

“I want to prevent what’s happened to our family happening to other families.”

Donations to Kirsty’s fund-raising can still be made to an online appeal set up by a friend to help her raise £1,000.

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