We are shining a spotlight on some of the people, places and organisations we work in partnership with and who support us in our mission to tackling inequalities so that everyone can enjoy community spaces which promote movement, activity, well-being and relationships. 
 
Today we are celebrating Joshua Milner, who was recently the extremely well deserving recipient of the Swim Teacher of the Year award at Basildon Sporting Village and whose amazing work, in partnership with our Occupational Therapists, has supported many adults into swimming.  
 
Joshua started his journey into swim teaching through an aquatics apprentice programme back in 2018. Since passing his SEQ L1 & L2 he built a varied portfolio as a swim teacher and has delivered a varied array of lessons including his own LTS lessons, small group additional needs, school swimming, Level water and 121 sessions. Working closely with Sport for Confidence Occupational Therapists, Joshua supports the development of a hydrotherapy transition group, which is delivered in partnership with the Physiotherapy – Learning Disability Health and Wellbeing Team, and aims to support physical health and wellbeing while also enabling participants to receive the ongoing benefits of water-based activities. The partnership between Joshua and Sport for Confidence ensures a practical approach to supporting individuals overcoming barriers which would have previously prevented them from swimming. 
 
Our Occupational Therapists work together with Josh using the pool sessions therapeutically. This can include developing skills such as motor planning, fine and gross motor skill development, problem solving, improving strength, range of motion, balance and cognition. These skills are often transferable and can help participants to perform everyday occupations outside of the water. 
 
The success of the sessions comes from the shared knowledge and understanding of the swimming teacher, Occupational Therapist and lived experience of the participant. 
 
We asked Josh a few quick fire questions to find out more about him and his role – 
 
What is your favourite thing about being a swim teacher? 
 
- Its very difficult to pinpoint 1 favourite part of being a swim teacher. For myself I love to see students enjoy the swimming lessons, smiling throughout and helping them come over the challenges of learning to swim and then progressing through each stage. 
 
How do you feel your partnership with our Occupational Therapists enhances a participants experience of accessing the swimming pool and opportunities to learn to swim? 
 
- It has been amazing working with all the Occupational Therapists to give people freedom from their day-to-day struggles. Swimming is amazing for all mental and physical health, from just simply being able to get out of their wheelchair for the first time to getting help with movement and physio. 
 
What made you want to become a swimming teacher? 
 
- Swimming runs in my family with my grandma mum auntie and sister all are swimming teachers and I love swimming myself learning to swim from a young age up to competing for a swimming club, I wanted to stay within the sport so following the family i became a teacher. 
 
Congratulations Josh! 
 
 
Pictured above - Joshua Milner (in red) and Olympic swimmer, Rebecca Adlington with his winners trophy for Swim Teacher of the Year, and three participants who he has supported to be able to access the swimming pool and take part in water based activities at Basildon Sporting Village.  
 
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