Here’s what my clients have to say.

Submitted on 2014/02/25 at 8:48 pm
From Carol I would wholeheartedly recommend anyone to go to this lovely lady as she understands exactly the nature of people’s fears, which in itself psychologically makes a big difference and removes some of the fear right from the start. I travelled from Scotland, driving myself to Derbyshire (arriving after 11 hours as I got lost) but was determined to do this and am very glad that I did. If I can travel that distance, there is nowhere in England at least that is too far away – not if you are determined. I can guarantee that Irene will get you swimming and make a big difference to your life if you allow it – it is there for the taking. If anyone wishes to contact me themselves, they can do so via Irene.

When I was a little girl aged 10, my friend and I were messing about with a rowing boat which was tied to the edge of the river by a long rope. We would let it drift into the rapids in the middle of the river and then get pushed by the current back to the bank. We got braver and braver and started rocking the boat and of course the inevitable happened and we were both thrown in. My friend was washed up dead, seven miles downstream and I was carried to the bank and had the water pumped out of me by a passerby. Fifty years later, I still live with the guilt of my friend’s death and a terrible fear of going head first into water. I have had various series of swimming lessons in the past and have learned to swim a few strokes but could never put my head in the water.

I saw Irene’s course advertised on-line and decided to have one last shot at conquering my fear by taking the adult swimming lessons in her private swimming pool. I can only describe Irene and her teaching methods as brilliant. She soon had me breathing out under the water, taught me how to breathe out whilst doing the breast stroke, to float on my back and even have a go at the backstroke. She even took me to the local big pool and I managed to do about 16 lengths. I was never rushed or made to feel stupid and I always felt safe with her in the water with me. The only thing I could not conquer was floating in a mushroom with my head submerged under the water but she said that was not necessary to be able to swim. I did manage to do it a few times but still felt panic when I had to put my head in and arms out. However, now for the first time in my life, I feel confident enough to overcome this fear. I thoroughly recommend Irene to anyone with a similar fear, the two day course is worth every single penny and cheaper than many I saw. Irene is a wonderful teacher!    Jenny Chalmers

From: Gordon, Carol Sent: 22 August 2013 10:21

To: ‘swim-easy@hotmail.com’ Subject: July

Trawling the internet I came across a number of websites/locations scattered around the country. I live just south of Edinburgh but was determined to go wherever and make it into a trip “for me”. I came across 1 or 2 sites that advocated “total immersion” and thought no, that’s too much. Some offered private lessons in a public pool or in groups (no good for me – didn’t work the first time). One or two offering 1-to-1 had access to a private pool and could recommend nearby accommodation – B & B, etc.

Then I came across Irene with her own private swimming pool and own residential accommodation on site. I was intrigued by her story, having endured all manner of terrors before overcoming them to become the wonderful teacher that she is. The cost of swimming lessons per se were similar wherever, but as I saw it, Irene offered the best value for money overall.

Her accommodation is a little 2-bedroomed house which was ideal for me. Self-catering, quiet and as it happened to be in July when it was extremely hot, very cool and welcoming inside. As the lessons are quite intense and the whole idea of the package is all about swimming, one could simply go from one door to another to enter a quiet, relaxing haven to chill out and rest in between sessions (much needed). The house contains everything you need to be comfortable and being self-catering you can be completely independent whereas B & Bs, etc one might have to be out when not feeling like being out.

Irene’s method of teaching is completely different and most importantly calm and gentle, allowing an individual to go at their own pace. There is no pressure and because she is in the water with you she can show what she is looking for by demonstrating a particular movement. It is much easier to be able to see how/what happens, along with explanation of why (most important).

You know at all times what will happen next, how it feels and she is able to impart total trust (also very important). Without realising it, one is actually learning by the method of total immersion and before you know it, you are doing it. I believe that many more people could learn to swim using Irene’s method as it is one of those things where “one size does not fit all”.

Swimming Holiday Australia

From Karen Sumner re: her holiday after swimming lessons with Irene:

Hi Irene

Swimming lessons testimonials

Sydney Harbour Bridge

I have finally got around to organising myself and sending you the photos of us snorkelling and diving in Oz. We had a fantastic time and I don’t think I could of managed to do the amazing things we did without your help.

Swimming with Dolphins was fantastic and I wouldn’t have even been able to put my face in the water without your help. Looking back now and thinking about it I don’t believe how I actually managed it!. We we had wet suits on and belts and we had to keep hold on to the person in front of us, the person at the front held on to the trip leader and as soon as he was in the water, we were too. I didn’t have time to think about the fact that I was in the middle of the ocean with nothing to hold onto apart from the person in front! The dolphins just swam around us, besides us and under us and we could almost touch them (not allowed to) and you could hear them talking – it was totally amazing! I’m so glad I did it!

Swimming lessons testimonials

Swimming Holiday

The barrier reef was another scary encounter for me! The guys on the boat really looked after me and here the worst bit was actually getting into the water – I couldn’t make myself just jump off the back of the boat into the water! They gave me a long tube shaped float which you tucked under your arms that gave me a bit of confidence and after the first place we stopped at I got used to it and then I was happy-ish moving around much more at the next 2 sites we stopped at! The coral was the most amazing colours and the fish absolutely wonderful, we even saw a white tipped baby shark swimming below us!

Swimming lessons testimonials - Karen and Russell

swimming lessons holiday – Karen and Russell

Adult Swimming Lessons – Holiday Karen

I have sent you a few photos, one of me and a friend I made on the boat who was just as scared as I was, so we stuck together! One of Me and Russell (my fiancé) and one me us when we climbed Sydney Harbour bridge! Australia was the most amazing place, and we are hoping to go back in December this year as Russell wants to watch the Cricket and I don’t need an excuse to go and be in the sunshine again with our friends!

I have promised myself to go swimming at the gym when I go, at least one a week so I keep it up.

I hope your move and installing your own pool are coming along well and everything is going to plan.

Many thanks for all you patience and help during the lessons as our trip to Australia wouldn’t have been so good if I had not overcome some of my fear of the water.

Thanks again

Hello Irene

I came on your learn-to-swim course in March and promised to let you know of my progress. The following week we joined the JJB (now DW) Fitness Club in Macclesfield and have been able to manage at least one visit each week since. Although I cannot swim, my confidence in the water is growing. I am able to do the exercises you taught me and last week I attended my first aqua class. It was fun and such good exercise. The pool is very large and 4 ft deep but am pleased that I’m now feeling happy to be in the water.

Thanks for all your help.

Best wishes

Kathleen Wharton

Hi Irene

Just a few lines to thank you for your patience and understanding during my recent swim lessons.

I still can’t believe that within an hour you had me gliding across the pool! I still don’t believe it now! My wife and I are off to the gym in the morning as she needs to see proof. Your method, straight forward and clear instruction was a breath of fresh air. Not once did I feel unsure as to what was expected of me. I had been told for many years that I was basically un teachable but you proved everybody wrong within such a short period of time. I really can’t praise you enough for what you have done.





I am just writing to say another very big thank you. Deepa and I feel so

happy to have achieved what we did over the 2 days.

Anyway I have been in a pool with my husband and children and did all

the drills! They were amazed! i got across a pool width by kicking and

some sort of arm movements!

I know lots more practise. I hope you are well .

Many thanks again.



Hello Irene

I’m so pleased you liked the e-card, I’ve been so busy at work since I came on the weekend course on 2-3 July that I haven’t had time to let you know how I’ve been getting on until now.

I was desperate to get back into the water asap as I loved the sensation of floating, being supported in the water, which I’d never felt before, and I’m sure, would never have done if not for you.

I visited my local leisure centre pool two days later, it was actually a more enjoyable experience than I was expecting, I think my previous fear of the water had magnified all the sounds and smells, and I didn’t even think about my scary experience as a child of falling backwards, which going to any swimming pool has always triggered my memories of. It was quite busy with mums and young children so it was hard to stay focused, but I practiced the first exercise holding onto the pool steps lots of times, although I was too tense to manage anything further. I went again a few days later, taking my 9 yr old daughter who was very keen to see what mum could do! Just having her company made me feel much more relaxed and we had a good time together, I was able to splash around with her in the shallow end and almost without realising it I soon found myself joining in with her games – seeing who could keep their head under the longest, do the best mushroom float, glide the furthest without kicking … she was most impressed, and I was so pleased with myself! She even taught me how to drop into the pool from sitting on the edge which I’ve always been too scared to do before, and when she inevitably swam underwater and grabbed me by the legs I was able to shake her off and glide away, where before I would have been absolutely terrified and rooted to the spot! I was on a high for days afterwards, it was the first time in my life that I have ever actually enjoyed my time at a swimming pool, and I am looking forward to taking her again this week, and also a session by myself too. I want to get lots of practice in before we go on holiday next month – I can’t wait to get in the hotel pool this year, even though I’m not yet swimming I can look as if I know what I’m doing & will enjoy being in the water instead of being stuck on a sun lounger watching the rest of the family having fun – I’m expecting not to get so many books read this summer!

I just can’t thank you enough Irene for all your help, advice, support and patience that weekend – It was a very challenging time for me, but it has been a life-changing experience and definitely worth it!

Thanks again

Best wishes

Jane Everett

Hi Irene,

I said I would let you know how I was getting on. I started the new job on 16.9.09 & since then have not had the flexibility at work or the spare time to pursue the swimming, which is rather a shame. The course was certainly not a waste of time, however, and I was impressed with the progress that I was able to make by following your method.

I am due to end this period of secondment some time after 31.3.10 and return to my usual office but I will then be dealing with the busy year end period so will have to see how things look after that. I have also enrolled in college from 4.3.10 and will have to take annual leave to attend the course in addition to working full time and studying at the weekends so you can see that it is still going to be difficult for me to find time for swimming.

I’m sure I will have forgotten some of the tips you gave me on gliding, hand & head position and the arm & leg strokes so, if & when I can find a slot in my busy life, I would think it advisable if I could visit you for, say, a one day refresher when it is convenient for you. I’m obviously looking to find a time when I think I will be able to follow it up with some swimming practice.

I’ll be in touch again when I can see how the land lies. In the meantime, thank you for your help in September. It was much appreciated.


Hi there Irene

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you on this, but we’ve moved house and haven’t had internet for coming close to two months because of Virgin!

Thank you for the 2 days of lessons, was really helpful and enjoyable. Please find below a few words for your testimonial wall:

“I would highly recommend the lessons with Irene. Her personality is really good for settling those initial nerves that most students will have and her logical approach to facing the water really helped me not only feel comfortable in the pool, but to understand the water. The two days are intense, but really fly by and it was only a few days later I really understood just how much I had taken in in those two days. I now have the confidence to be in the water, and although I’m far from being able to swim competently, I now want to learn the strokes and want to be in the water – a big leap from where I was! It was an ideal, and crucial, first step and I want to take a few more now. Thanks a lot Irene, Steve”

Hope that suits. Any info on the PDF of notes please?

I’ve only managed to get in the pool a couple of times since, but get a new lot of holiday allocation in the new year so will plan a few days off to get more time in the water!

thanks and hopefully speak to you soon,



Hi Irene

Hope you are well.

I am excited and pleased to inform you that yesterday morning I went to the free swim session at my local pool for the first time following my course with you on Weds/Thurs and was able to remember everything! I followed your advice and started with my glide using the bar in the shallow end, I even managed to let go of the bar and feel the water holding me up, I then moved on to the bunny hops with head above and below the water. Following this I practised my floor take off into a glide and then as I really enjoyed the wall start, practised that a few times.

Fellow swimmers who I know through the acqua aerobics class and Sunday free swim session also complimented me on my cap and goggles (!) and said how confident and professional I looked, which was lovely to hear. It was so wonderful to be in the water without arm bands and I am really looking forward to going to the class on Wednesday without arm bands!

I was the last one in the pool and from the middle of the pool to the stairs (to get out of the pool), I had the confidence to do a floor start and a glide to get out, rather than walk through like I usually do. This was an exhilirating feeling!

I know you will understand how I am feeling hence why I have emailed.

Once again, many thanks for your time, professional approach, knowledge and skills, patience and good conversation.

You are highly recommended!

Best Wishes,

Keep up the good work!

Najma (from Sheffield)

Hello Irene,

Well doesn’t time fly? After my lovely break I am back at work on this beautiful sunny autumnal day.

I do hope that you had a great holiday and that your London trip resulted in a positive valuation outcome.

I can’t thank you enough for the swimming tuition – it made my holiday. I was able to take full advantage of the pool and spent hours each day gliding and was able to see for myself in the deeper water how your wonderful kneel forward action truly got me off to a super glide that effortlessly took me across the full width of the pool.

After more effort I was able to turn on my side with my head and face down and right arm in stretch position & left by my side as you demonstrated to me and finally achieved (kicking sock off action) forward kick so that I actually moved forward!

I generally revisited all that you taught me and I felt great and slept like a log each night. I was even brave enough to try out your suggestion of hanging onto the side of the pool in the deep end with say 12/18 inches of water below my feet and just letting myself go which was so helpful in reinforcing your message to me on buoyancy.

Thank you so much for your clever teaching technique – Richard was so impressed and I feel so enthused and invigorated.

I do hope that your singing is coming along on target for your November solo debut, when you get a minute I would be interested to hear from you on this.

Bye for now – my best wishes. Anne

Hi Irene

Just a few lines to thank you for your patience and understanding during my recent swim lessons.

I still can’t believe that within an hour you had me gliding across the pool! I still don’t believe it now! My wife and I are off to the gym in the morning as she needs to see proof. Your method, straight forward and clear instruction was a breath of fresh air. Not once did I feel unsure as to what was expected of me. I had been told for many years that I was basically un teachable but you proved everybody wrong within such a short period of time. I really can’t praise you enough for what you have done.




Jamie and Nick:

I booked a 9 hour residential swimming course with Irene at Swim Easy for my husband, Nick for his birthday. He has never been able to swim and had all the regular fears a) not being able to breathe b) sinking/drowning c) not being able to find your feet etc. I am amazed to say that after the first day (6 hours total pool time) that he was able to float, find his feet, glide on the surface of the water and swim a few strokes against the current machine in the pool. This was unbelievable considering we had already been down the adult lessons at a local leisure centre route with no success. Irene and Sophie are lovely people that make you feel very welcome (we stayed in the 2 bed house next to the pool) and are very patient and understanding. The lessons were all undertaken in the cosy warm private pool on a one to one basis. I was able to sit right next to the pool in a comfy chair while my husband had his lessons and it is all very relaxing and we had some good laughs too. Sophie taught my husband and was absolutely fantastic, she listened, was encouraging and explained everything. There are no floats or swimming sticks used in these lessons they teach you how to understand the water and that you have the best buoyancy already in you body (your lungs)! It really is an amazing technique of learning to swim not like anything you would see at your local leisure centre. The most amazing thing is that it works. My husband is 34, 6 foot tall and of large build and he thought he would never swim and to see him grinning after the 9 hour course gliding and swimming a few strokes was brilliant. He’s not a perfect swimmer and still will have to practice regularly to get it all together but hey! he wouldn’t even go in a pool before last weekend! All of the fears were taken away by being taught with these techniques and the understanding of water that we were both given. I can already swim but learnt so much just watching and certainly came away with some inside knowledge! We both can’t wait to go on holiday to the Red Sea as my husband will now be able to snorkel with fish, go on boat trips, jet skis/ringos/banana boats, all the things he used to watch everyone else doing! We will send some pictures! I would highly recommend Swim Easy to any one that would like to learn to swim and all you have to do is contact Irene. It has really made a difference and nervous people really needn’t fear!


Just a thank you note, mainly for your patience. I thoroughly enjoyed my two days instruction , though a bit stiff in the joints later in the week. You managed to remove most of my nervousness in the water for which I am very grateful. Have been to my local pool, and though I have not mastered the strokes you gave me, I am confident that practice will make , won’t say perfect, but towards perfection. I intend to have words with all my non-swimming friends , who consider themselves too old to learn. Once again “thank you”.

Eileen: I would like to thank you for our recent stay in your house right next to the swimming pool. It was very comfortable. My lessons with Sophie were fantastic. Within a few minutes I was putting my head under water which is amazing as I have never done this. I am no longer frightened and I know that this is just the beginning. Sophie was an inspiration and I am truly looking forward to holidays with my grandchildren.


Hi Irene Jenny and I wish to thank you and Sophie for the support we got at the weekend. We went to The Greenlawns Hotel on Monday night as planned. Jenny is swimming well and has not used the float. Arms and legs are both functioning well. I am thrilled to e able to go in the water and was able to glide and float quite successfully. I am sure I will be swimming before too long.

Thanks again.


Dear Irene I would like to tell you how much I enjoyed and benefited from my 9 hours swimming lesson with Sophie. She is an excellent instructor with a lot of patience, pleasant and friendly mannerism. When I arrived I knew nothing about the breast stroke. When I left I was able to do the stroke correctly and knew how to correct my errors. She taught me the breast stroke in several stages. Her instructions were crystal clear, precise and easy to follow. I even had time to practise each stage with her. I would recommend Sophie to any beginners who wish to learn how to swim.

Thank you Sophie!!!



Hello Irene, Hope you remember me, Ken Jenkins from Lichfield, you gave me two days of swimming lessons at the end of February. I’d just thought I’d let you know how I’m getting on. I’ve been going to the pool 3 to 4 times a week since my lessons with you, doing my drills & getting some funny looks from the staff and other people in the pool as I went through gliding, kicking & then my stroke, time after time. As you suggested I didn’t try to swim, but after a week of drills I put into practice all three elements and actually started swimming. I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know that last week I swam 50 lengths of the pool (a total of 100 metres) on each of the four visits I made that week, I had to take a few breaks of about a minute every 5-10 lengths, but steadily I’m building up my stamina. As I explained to you at my lessons, my aim was to get my PADI licence to go scuba diving, but I had to be sure that I could pass the swimming test of 200 metres before proceeding. I feel so confident in the water now that I have booked a holiday in Egypt on the Red Sea in June to try & get my PADI open water licence. I’m really looking forward to it, and although a bit nervous about swimming in the sea for the first time, I’m sure I’m going to be OK. Today I swam 1500 metre (75 lengths) again with a few 30 seconds to 1 minute breaks, I just feel so proud that I’ve achieved this and I want to thank you for making this possible. I’m not the fastest thing in the water but then again that wasn’t my goal, I’m sure & steady and that’s fine with me. I’m also aware that I need to keep working on my action, I still make mistakes but I’m always trying to correct any faults knowing what I should now be doing. I just wish I’d learnt to swim before, I really look forward to my sessions in the pool, and feel really good about myself because I can swim properly, with my head down in the water as opposed to more experienced swimmers who I now know are not swimming as they should. I’d confided in one of the people I met at the pool before taking lessons that I was unable to swim and was about to do a two day intensive course, he told me last week that he couldn’t believe I’d only been swimming for six weeks and asked me if I was going to swim the channel.

Thanks again Irene for all of your help and understanding during my two day course, I know I’m not the easiest person to teach anything but its been a life changing experience, if its OK with you I’ll let you know how the scuba diving course goes and perhaps send you some photos.


Well Irene, I made it back home to Ireland, and I’m still on a high with my achievements during my 2 days residential swim lessons. You know, although I always really wanted to learn to swim, the fear I had since I was a child, always prevented me from pursuing my goal. I remember many years ago deciding that there were 3 things that I wanted to do, 1 – Learn to drive, 2 – go to university and achieve my qualifications, and 3 – Learn to swim. I have long since completed No 1 and 2. I have never been able to complete No. 3, because of the fear I had of water. I could go into the sea up to my knees, go into a swimming pool up to my thighs, but have never been able to go into a pool and put my fear to one side – long enough for me to try anything that might resemble a swimming stroke! I went on holidays, but would never go into the pool, especially if there were people in it. On Wednesday 2nd April, 2008, I started my two day residential swimming course and met Sophie – my swimming instructor. I got into the pool – which was deeper than any pool I’d been in before. The water came up to my waist. But, Sophie was a fabulous teacher, very different than anything I’d experienced before, always encouraging, always ready to catch me when I ready to brave the next move, and reminding me of my progress with consistent positive feedback. The sessions in the pool flew by. Sophie explained step-by-step each stroke, breaking it down into separate movements, demonstrating them herself, and with good humour and patience gave me the security and confidence to try them myself. My fear of water has not disappeared, but it certainly has become manageable. I found that sophie made me feel safe in the water, and this gave me the confidence to try something – even when I was scared. In no time at all I was moving from one side of the pool to the other, without the big splash, or the overwhelming fear of sinking to the bottom. I learned how the water reacts to my movement in it, the importance of balance, and how I didn’t need to put in lots of effort with lots of spashing to move quickly in the water. It was a fabulous experience and I am so pleased that I booked these private lessons. I have now returned home and have made arrangements with a friend to take out membership of a local hotel’s leisure centre. I want to keep the feel-good feeling I now have about the water. I would recommend everyone who is frightened of the water, but would like to learn to swim, to make contact with Irene and make a booking. Irene I wish you well in the future, thank you for your excellent service, and I want to especially say a very big thank to Sophie.

1 Response to Testimonials

  1. Janet Moss says:

    Hello Irene,

    I have a fear of water after being pushed into the swimming baths as a young girl and not being able to get up, which was also my problem. I have been to lots of swimming lessons over the years but as I wouldn’t put my head under the water and the instructor was not in the water with me, I did not have the confidence to let go of the side of the baths. I found that the swimming instructors who had a lot of people to try to teach paid more attention to the adults that were confident in the water.

    I decided, as I am 70 years old next year that I would have a last attempt to swim and after looking on the internet found Irene, who had her own pool and was in the water with you all the time.

    I booked a two day course and stayed in the accommodation next door to the pool a week ago

    I have problems with my knees and Irene started teaching me with just the strength in my arms.

    I learnt on the first day to put my head in the water and how to glide while holding my breath, also how to get up which I needed to do to give me the confidence to get in the water.

    On the second day I learnt the swimming stroke but have not quite mastered the head out of the water and breathing (I was very good under water!)

    Although I am not able to swim yet I have been to the local swimming pool with my husband twice this week and feel that it is only a matter of time before I will be able to swim.

    I can’t thank Irene enough and would recommend anyone not to give up because of your age – anything is possible.

    From Janet 26.2.2016

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