BPL Swim Safe Campaign 2017

Marketing / Print



BPL is a not-for-profit social enterprise and charitable company that has been running for almost 20 years. They provide affordable, health, leisure and sports facilities across Barnsley, Bassetlaw and Pontefract.

For the last six years, Talk to Media has supported BPL with their annual Swim Safe campaign, to educate children in Barnsley and Bassetlaw about the dangers of water, especially in and around the summer holidays.

We were tasked with strategising the entire marketing campaign, contacting all primary schools, collating entries, choosing finalists, liaising with the media to choose the overall winners, creating the complete design concept, working with local printers and managing all the PR.


The campaign consisted of a drawing competition for pupils in years 1-3 and a Swim Safe assembly for each school in the regions – where BPL aquatic co-ordinators would visit schools with the BPL mascot Derek the Dolphin and educate the students of the dangers of water and the meaning of signs and flags.

As part of the initial drawing competition, a template of Derek was sent to all schools involved headlined with ‘Learning to swim is important because…’. The children then came up with the campaign strapline.

Once we received all entry designs, we chose two finalists from each school which was then sent to the local press. The Barnsley Chronicle and Worksop Guardian were asked to judge the entries and picked an overall winner from each town.

The two winning designs were then transformed into the campaign artwork, which included posters, bookmarks, free swim vouchers, web banners and certificates – which were all created by the Talk to Media design team.


More than 1,000 pupils from schools across Barnsley and Bassetlaw took part in the campaign, which has resulted in more children knowing the dangers of water, be it swimming pools, lakes, rivers, ponds or the sea. The assemblies also raised the awareness of the BPL Swim School and what the lessons cover to give youngsters in the region more confidence in the water should they get into difficulty.

Once the winning artwork had been produced, Talk to Media, a BPL swim ambassador and Derek the Dolphin headed to the two winning schools to unveil the artwork and present certificates.

Talk to Media then issued a press release to media outlets in Barnsley and Bassetlaw and also to the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS) to raise the profile of the Swim Safe campaign and its success, and to also showcase the winning students and their artwork alongside Derek the Dolphin.