Tragic toddler Loui's mum saving lives
The mum of a tragic Wigan toddler, who drowned while on holiday, has been inundated with requests from parents wanting to learn life-saving techniques.
Emma Hollingsworth, 33, travelled to America to become expert in the ‘float and survive’ method, following a determined fundraising campaign.
And now she is using her training to help other families, in memory of her son Loui, who drowned while on a September 2013 holiday to Tunisia.
Emma, from Hindley Green, has been so successful that she has bookings running up until September, and she is said to be receiving interest from swimming enthusiasts and baths across the borough and beyond.
Supported by family and friends, their charity DoIt4Loui managed to arrange a host of fundraisers and collect more than £11,500, so Emma could journey to the United States, where the programme is widely taught, and undertake a four-week training regime.
She said: “This is a life-saving skill that teaches children from the age of six-months-old how to roll over onto their back and float in water.
“Unlike regular swimming lessons that are taught when children are much older, this is 100 per cent survival.
“This skill is being taught in many countries but unfortunately not here in England.”
She is hopeful that the venture, once it takes a firm hold in Wigan, can be rolled out across the UK.
The training begins with babies aged just six months, with the aim of ensuring they can ‘self-rescue’ in water before they are able to walk, even when fully clothed, as well as hold their breath under water.
Later techniques, for older children, concentrate on using the training so a youngster can reach a poolside or shoreline, in an emergency.
Emma has been keen to stress the difference between traditional swimming lessons and her classes, which are designed to combat accidental falls into water.
Before her American trip, Emma said: “It’s all in memory of Loui. We miss him every day, it still doesn’t feel real.”
An inquest into Loui’s death recorded an accidental verdict and his parents have devoted their time since then to campaigning for pools to be made safer.
Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue met with the couple in 2015 and offered her support in achieving their aims.
Those interested in finding out more about her ‘float and survive’ courses can go online to www.doit4loui.wix.com