Who we are...

Victoria Widdowson and Richard Higgins swimming teachers 

Victoria WiddowsonVictoria Widdowson provides adult swiiming lessons

I learnt to swim at the age of 12 when my parents' anxieties about water and swimming made them determined that I would not feel the same way. During my lessons I developed a love of being in water and have continued to swim for fitness and pleasure ever since. Over the years I have improved my swimming style and have discovered the therapeutic, stress-relieving benefits that are gained from comfortable, non-competitive swimming. As a swimming teacher I encourage people to increase their confidence by helping them to build a positive relationship with water and by teaching them to swim with a relaxed and healthy technique. 

Having learnt to swim relatively later in life than some people, I can remember my own anxieties about being in water and can relate to the emotions experienced by nervous learners and beginners. My degree in psychology and work as a primary school teacher for 12 years have given me additional skills in understanding different emotional needs and learning styles. In 2016 I completed a course in CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) Methods which I have used successfully to support people struggling to overcome their fears.  I develop a relationship with each person who learns with me and adjust every lesson to suit a persons own specific needs and abilities. If you are keen to learn to swim or, improve your technique and your relationship with water, but maybe feel anxious about taking the next step, please contact me to discuss your needs and to find out how I can help you.

Learn to swim

 Victoria and Richard

We both qualified as Level 2 ASA swimming teachers in 2000 and went on to complete Diplomas in Aqua Health and Development in 2001 which involved training to teach the Shaw Method of Swimming. We have been teaching one to one swimming since 2002.


Richard swimming crawl chalk drawing
Richard HigginsRichard Higgins adult swim instructor

My recollections of swimming lessons as a child are of cold footbaths, clinging to the side, lots of polystyrene floats and having instructions shouted at me from above. Not an ideal environment to learn anything.

My memories of enjoying the water are of freedom of movement gained from being left to play around and explore.  Jumping in and feeling the instant effect of the water lifting me back to the surface; swimming under water and the ensuing calmness of a slower, quieter world.  

As a teacher I wanted to move away from traditional swimming teaching methods which are very "land based" and instructive.  I wanted to be in the pool helping people to enjoy the water.  Over the years I have developed a teaching philosophy based on four principles:

Good Communication
Being in the water teaching one to one allows me to communicate effectively. I can talk and listen, observe closely, provide demonstration and guide movements, making adjustments to a learners body position in the water.

In the water I can provide learners with the support they need without the use of floatation devices.

As a qualified life-saver I have the confidence to monitor safety and assist learners if they need help.

Individual Needs
Most importantly, I recognise that each person that comes to learn to swim has different need and a different way of learning.  My teaching history (over 10 years) has provided me with the experience and knowledge to be able to help learners whatever their anxieties or learning styles are.