More children will now be able to learn how to be a little lifeguards and save the lives of themselves and others while having fun thanks to a new partnership between the Drowning Prevention Charity and Olympic swimmer, Rebecca Adlington.
The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) is the drowning prevention charity. Around 400 people drown in the UK every year and the RLSS UK aims to prevent drowning through water safety education.
Through its trading subsidiary, IQL UK, there are more than 90,000 RLSS UK Pool Lifeguards in the UK trained in the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ). Around 95 per cent of all pool lifeguards are trained by the RLSS UK.
RLSS UK awards and programmes teach a range of lifesaving skills ranging from life support (CPR) to water survival and rescue skills. Programmes include Rookie Lifeguard (for eight to12-year–olds), Survive and Save (for 12 years+) and Save a Baby’s Life (a free course aimed at parents and carers of young children).
The RLSS UK (then the Life Saving Society) was formed in 1891. In 1904, as there was great support for the organisation from the Royal Family, the society was granted permission to use the Royal title and became the Royal Life Saving Society.
Drowning Prevention Week is the national campaign run by the Royal Life Saving Society UK to cut down the number of accidental drowning that occur each year and support families affected by drowning.
The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) has trained eleven swimming teachers in essential water safety education in bid to reduce preventable deaths.
The teachers, who are all associated with leading learn-to-swim company, Becky Adlington’s Swim Stars, were given training resulting in them becoming RLSS UK Rookie Lifeguard Instructors, which has given them vital knowledge to go into schools to deliver water safety education to children.
The training took place at Whitefield’s Total Fitness, Manchester this month (13 April).
RLSS UK’s Rookie Lifeguard programme gives children aged between eight to 12-years-old the skills they need to be confident and enjoy water safely, and gives children valuable self survival, self rescue and rescue skills as well as giving them the skills to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
RLSS UK’s Community Drowning Prevention Co-ordinator for Manchester, Aaron Dhanda, said: “Our Rookie Lifeguard programme gives vital water safety education to children. By developing the swimming teachers existing water safety knowledge, they are now able to give the community’s children skills and awareness of water safety that could potential save their own life or lives of others. We often hear of children who have used their skills learnt throughout the Rookie Lifeguard programme to save the life of a friend or family member.”
The course comes following a partnership with Becky Adlington’s Swim Stars to help prevent drowning at a local level.
On completion of the course Becky Adlingtons’ qualified Rookie Lifeguard Instructors will be going into schools on the run up to RLSS UK’s Drowning Prevention Week, which runs from 18 to 26 June, delivering water safety workshops which include how to safe around water and how to self-rescue should they get into difficulties.
“It is great that Becky’s teachers are giving their time free of charge to go out to the community giving water safety lessons to schools as part of our Drowning Prevention Week. RLSS UK’s ultimate aim is to prevent drowning and stop unnecessary loss of life and by going to local schools this will help achieve these goals. No child should loose their life to drowning,” Aaron added.
Swim Stars National Account Manager, Angela Audsley, said: “We are delighted to join RLSS UK in this valuable initiative. Becky is concerned that almost half of the pupils leaving primary school each year cannot swim properly. Whether it’s swimming lessons or water safety awareness, we fully support anything which reduces the risk around water for thousands of children.”
Around 400 people needlessly die from drowning in the UK every year and thousands more suffer injury, some life-changing, through near-drowning experiences. Putting these figures into context, one person dies every 20 hours in the UK and drowning is a leading cause of accidental death of children in the UK.
To find out more about RLSS UK’s Rookie Lifeguard programme and Drowning Prevention Week –
Visit our website at www.rlss.org.uk
Follow us on Twitter – @RLSSUK
Visit our Facebook page – www.facebook.com/RLSSUK
Call – 01789 773994
Becky Adlington’s Swim Stars operates at 17 venues around the country. The programme currently delivers swimming lessons to over 5,000 children each week.