Royal Life Saving Society UK receive accolade for water safety work in Birmingham

17 November 2017

Birmingham City Council has awarded the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) their Partner Agency Contribution Award.

The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) is delighted to announce that it has won an Education Safeguarding – Partner Agency Contribution Award from Birmingham City Council (BCC), for its work on its Birmingham SAFE project, which is about keeping Birmingham children at the Heart of Water Safety.

The award, which is received for work on the Birmingham SAFE project, was presented at a dedicated ceremony, held at St. Andrew’s, home to Birmingham City FC, on Thursday 16 November.

The Project saw RLSS UK representatives come together with BCC, the Canal and River Trust, West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service, West Midlands NHS, Swim England and the RNLI, to bring water safety to the top of the agenda in schools across the region.

Tragically, there were 12 coastal drownings linked with Birmingham residents in 2016 and with the UK’s second city famously having more canals than Venice, all too often West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service is rescuing hundreds of people each year from inland waterways.

The need for inland water safety and drowning prevention resources, has never been greater.

Aaron Dhanda, RLSS UK Community Drowning Prevention Co-ordinator for the area, said: “It has been fantastic to be part of this partnership project to help keep Birmingham children safe. The new resources have been created from the best input from each individual organisation and helps ensure we cover all aspects of water safety, including both inland and coastal waterways. We’re extremely honoured to receive this award and hope our messages are hitting home.”

Jon Needham, Lead School Safeguarding Adviser for BCC added: “We wanted to create a set of drowning prevention resources for Early Year, Primary and Secondary Schools, covering all aspects of water safety that could then be used by educational staff, parents and volunteers. We thought it would be a great idea to also have a School Water Safety Award consisting of three levels – Bronze, Silver and Gold.

“Each award had various requirements to attain these, from self-delivery of the resources, to completing impact measurement and this helped us evaluate the success of the information included in the presentations.”

All the available resources can be found online and are completely FREE for schools to access.

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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.

RLSS UK is the UK’s leading provider of training and education in lifesaving, lifeguarding, water safety and life support skills in the UK.  It is also the governing body for Lifesaving Sport.

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 a 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 drownings that occur each year and support families affected by drowning. The next campaign will run from June 15 – 25, 2018.

For more information and interview/spokesperson opportunities contact Porcha Treanor by emailing [email protected] or calling 0300 323 0096 opt 1.