A swimming teacher has received an award for her efforts in getting little ones paddling across the area.

Hagley-based Emma Downes, swimming teacher at Puddle Ducks Worcestershire, won the Local Star Teacher award for her dedication and understanding while teaching children to swim within the community.

The award recognises people who are exceptional at teaching young children and babies how to swim.

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Ms Downes joined the Puddle Ducks team in 2013, and has been praised for her ability to build a trustful and confident relationship with each student.

Mrs Taylor, the mother of one of her students, nominated Ms Downes for the award.

Mrs Taylor said: "Theo has been through a phase of crying whenever he goes into the pool or when the teacher holds him.

"Emma has been so patient with him, taken the time to get to know Theo and build up a lovely relationship with him.

"She has been very understanding and has included him in any way she can.

"She has spent extra time making him feel more comfortable and encouraging him."

The winner was selected by Sam Harton, the spa and leisure manager at Stratford Manor Hotel.

He said: "It was really difficult to choose as they were all so good, but this one stood out for me.

"I chose this one in particular as I feel creating that relationship between child and teacher can be quite tricky and it takes someone special to create that bond".

Ms Downes used to be a swimmer herself.

She started her journey at Puddle Ducks after being a customer with her own son Harry.

Ms Downes said: "I absolutely love my job, it’s so rewarding, and is a fun and friendly environment to work in.

"I look forward to coming to work to see my swimmers every day and I’m delighted to have won this award."

Suzanne Horton, franchise owner of Puddle Ducks said: "Emma is one of our most longstanding team members and her passion for teaching swimming shines through everything she does.

"We couldn’t be happier that Emma has been recognised this term as our star teacher – well done Emma, you thoroughly deserve it."