Hunter and Chelsea Fellingham like going to the beach and they may enjoy it even more after learning to swim at Whanganui's Splash Centre.

Hunter, 7, and his sister, Chelsea, 5, were presented with a year's learn-to-swim vouchers at an assemby at Tawhero School on August 27.

Their nana, Sue Fellingham, was there to watch.

"I think it's fantastic. If I had time I would have taken them [for swimming lessons] because I think it's very important for them to swim. They do like swimming."


Tawhero acting principal Jacki Boyle is confident the children's mother will take them to the lessons. She said they will be especially good for tiny Chelsea, who has some mobility issues.

The vouchers are the result of an initiative by Whanganui Prison, Mitre 10 Mega and the Splash Centre.

The prison has a Level 2 and 3 UCOL course in Building Construction and Allied Skills. Its carpentry instructor designed a children's playhouse.

Mitre 10 Mega donated timber to make eight of the houses. The prisoners built and painted eight them, and they were then sold by Mitre 10. The store wanted to give something back, so purchased the learn-to-swim vouchers to be donated to two children.

They were presented by Blair Sloan, the prison's principal industries instructor, and Mitre 10 Mega Whanganui owner Hayden Gibson, who also handed out some rugby balls for the school.

"We are here to present some learn-to-swim vouchers to some lucky people so that you can learn to swim and be safe when you are out there swimming in the lakes and rivers and seas," he said.