Drowning prevention Parliament pledge appeal a great success

17 June 2015

APPG

Royal Life Saving Society UK’s pledge appeal a great success after Westminster visit, with 32 MPs declaring their support to help prevent drownings.

The Drowning Prevention Charity’s latest Westminster trip was its most successful yet, as 32 MPs pledged their support to help prevent unnecessary drownings in their constituencies. Representatives from The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) made the trip to Parliament ahead of its annual national campaign, Drowning Prevention Week, which this year runs from June 20th to June 28th.

On Tuesday 16th, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Annual General Meeting took place in Westminster Palace, where Nadhim Zahawi, MP was reelected as Chairman and Karen Lumley, MP and Sharon Hodgson, MP were reelected as Vice Chairs. Andrew Stephenson MP and Matthew Offord MP were elected officers of the Group.

After the AGM, CPR workshops and water safety advice sessions were held throughout the afternoon and MPs from across the UK were invited to find out more about the charity and its work. Most importantly, MPs were invited to sign up and ‘pledge to support RLSS UK in their aim to reduce the rate of drowning in the UK’.

Royal Life Saving Society UK’s Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Vicki Hartley-Kite, commented: “We work tirelessly to raise awareness of water safety education and the issue of drowning in the UK. We want to stop the unnecessary loss of life to drowning in the UK and help people to enjoy water related activities safely, so, it is great to have the support of so many MPs.”

RLSS UK Chief Executive, Di Steer, added:

“We can’t do it alone. We need everyone’s help to raise awareness about the reality of accidental drowning, and to get water safety at the forefront of people’s minds. We rely heavily on other organisations and groups to spread the word and we hope as many people as possible can get behind this year’s campaign.”

Nadhim Zahawi, the newly reelected Chairman of the APPG Water Safety and Drowning Prevention and the MP for Stratford upon Avon, where RLSS UK’s headquarters is based, has supported RLSS UK for a long time.

He said: “I am very proud to have hosted RLSS UK in Parliament today; it’s fantastic that so many MPs have pledged their support.

“RLSS UK does brilliant work to educate people in lifesaving skills and water safety across the country, and I am sure that my colleagues will be promoting this vital work throughout their constituencies during Drowning Prevention Week and beyond.”

It cannot be emphasized how important RLSS UK’s work is. Jackie Roberts, the mother of student Megan Roberts, who tragically drowned in the River Ouse in York in January last year, has been working with RLSS UK on a number of projects. She said: “I am working with the RLSS UK as my daughter’s life meant so much and I want to do something in respect to her, and to prevent further tragedies.”

Around 400 people drown in the UK every year. To prevent further tragedies and loss of life, such as the drowning of Megan Roberts, RLSS UK’s main goal is to promote drowning prevention messages and deliver water safety education nationally. They work tirelessly to achieve this through various schemes and campaigns, including offering a range of awards and programmes that teach lifesaving skills to all ages, and the national campaign, Drowning Prevention Week.

The incredible 32 MPs that offered their support on Tuesday are crucial to RLSS UK’s aim of getting water safety education on the National Curriculum and in all schools. By educating young people, RLSS UK believes that they can prevent many unnecessary drownings, and so would like to thank those MPs for helping the charity in this endeavor.

For more information and interview/spokesperson opportunities contact Porcha Treanor by emailing porchatreanor@rlss.org.uk or calling 01789 774495.