About us

Welcome to Lillypad Swimmers, a small and personal swim school offering lessons for all ages.

We offer Baby and Toddler Aqua Lessons, Swim Scheme lessons, 1 to 1 sessions for children and adults and Aqua Natal Sessions.

We follow the Swimming Teachers Association (STA) Swim Awards scheme to build water confidence and safety awareness through our lessons

whilst teaching you how to support your child in the pool until they become an independent swimmer!

We work hard to ensure our lessons are energetic, fun and enable you and your child to see real progression during your time with us.

Swimming lessons Darlington, Barnard Castle and Richmond

The Origins of Lillypad Swimmers

Linda Cassidy is the founder of Lillypad Swimmers, (named after her daughter Lilly). Lillypad Swimmers started whilst Linda accompanied her husband on a military posting in Germany. Linda found there were no swimming classes available for babies to take her daughter to so she started her own! It was vital to Linda that her daughter got into the pool as soon as possible. Linda loves water and can be found in it swimming and scuba diving and on it when windsurfing. The lessons in Germany proved to be so popular that on returning to the UK Linda set up here in the North East of England. She was in the Army for 17 years, but really found her calling when she started teaching. "I love being in the pool with the kids, they never fail to amaze me with what they are capable of and every day brings such a sense of achievement."

I have now completed a Diploma in baby and preschool swimming, Level 2 certificate in swimming instruction and Pre/Post-natal Aqua aerobics courses. Lillypad Swimmers is all about nurturing swimmers through every stage of life.  Sessions are led by professional swimming instructors who are energetic with positive attitude. Lillypad Swimmers sessions are designed to be enjoyed by all in a fun relaxed environment.

Meet the Team

Our photos will be swimming their way on to our page soon!

Private 1:1 Swimming lessons

Linda Cassidy

Swim Teacher & Founder

Swim teacher

Chelle McNally

Swim Teacher

Ceri Wright

Swim Teacher

Sally Cox

Swim Teacher

Our Awards

Starfish Award logo


This is the first steps on our swimming journey where we introduce you and baby to the swimming pool. The STArfish awards are for babies from 0-2 years of age. This first step is baby led and allows them to explore and discover enjoyment of the water in a safe and relaxing environment. We build your confidence as a parent and show you how to safely support your baby in the water. Fun activities include back floating, swimming with baby and baby led submersion. We show you how to move with your little one in the water and work on balance, water confidence and start building an awareness of water safety.

STA Awards


STAnley awards are where we first start developing independence in the pool and is aimed at 2-4 year olds. These lessons are accompanied by a parent who is there to offer any additional support the child may need. These classes are fun and energetic and we work on building water confidence, developing swimming techniques and strokes as well as water skills such as floating, jumping in, putting faces in water and breathing. These classes are a great step between the STArfish and independent swimming awards but also great for older children starting to swim who lack confidence or have a fear of the water.

octopus award logo

Octopus and Above

We teach up to the ASA equivalent of Level 6 which is our Shark series. The swimmers progress through Octopus where we assist the children moving independently in the water with floating aids, to Goldfish, Angel Fish and on to Shark where our swimmers will be covering distances of over 50 m with a good stroke. During this process we will develop good swimming techniques, entries, floating, surface dives and rescue techniques. The awards are fun to progress through with an even consideration given to swimming techniques and stroke transition as there is to movement, safety and water skills.

Swim for distance awards

Distance Awards

As well as our skills awards we also develop distance and stamina and these are recognised by our distance awards. We believe that award serves as great motivation to our swimmers so we recognise every achievement. Your child will receive a certificate and badge every term they swim with us, either a distance or skills award or if they have not quite reached the next milestone during the course, then a well done or special Lillypads badge of recognition will be presented instead. These are included in our course prices so are no extra cost to you. We also aim to offer life saving awards in the future.

Swimming pool water

Find out more...

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the water temperature like?

Unfortunately, we do not have a hydro pool at our disposal, but our pool is warmer then most public swimming pools at around 31 degrees. We find even the younger babies are fine in the water for a full 30 min lesson, with the aid of a baby wet suit or neoprene wrap which can be purchased on line.

What does my child need to bring to the lessons?

Just themselves in their swimming costumes. We supply all the swimming aids required. They can wear their own goggles and swim hats, or even bring a favorite toy if it helps them to feel more at ease. Babies and toddler who are not toilet trained must wear a double layer nappy system. Our preference is a disposable swimming nappy and a neoprene nappy, like a happy nappy.

What age can my child start?

We teach children of all ages, our youngest swimmer so far has been just 6 weeks old. The prime time to start baby swimming is from between 3-4 months old as they still have their natural swimming reflexes but are physically developed enough to be able to hold their head up and do more in the water.

How many swimmers will there be in a class?

We have a maximum of 8 child and parent pairs in our baby and toddler classes and 6 swimmers in our main stream classes. The group size will also depend on the confidence and ability of the group.

How do I enroll?

Contact Lillypad Swimmers by either email, phone or via our Facebook page and tell us what class you would like to enrol in. We will enrol you to start straight away if there are places available or we will put you on our waiting list.

Our Sessions

Why Choose Us?

  • Our courses for the STA Awards Scheme
  • Qualified Instructors - including baby and pre-school aquatics
  • Instructor teaching in the pool with small groups
  • Professional, experienced and energetic instructors
  • We support and develop water confidence
  • Recognised STA Swim Star School
  • We love what we do!