RoSPA National Water Safety Conference
Earlier this month RoSPA hosted its bi-annual National Water Safety Conference. Speakers and guests from around the UK joined us for a day of updates and insights at the M-Shed in Bristol.
The National Water Safety Forum chairman, George Rawlinson from the RNLI, gave an update post the launch of the UK drowning prevention strategy, including insights from the Transport Select Committee inquiry, and progress of the target groups towards our collective goal of reducing the number of drowning deaths in the UK. Jon Glenn from Swim England gave an update on the swimming review (more on that later).
On behalf of the Local Government Association, Councillor James Dawson provided a valuable insight in to the local policy response, and how the LGA board is working towards the UK strategy. Alison Kibblewhite, on behalf of the National Fire Chiefs Council water safety board, gave an update on the work of the fire and rescue service, and some early successes.
Guests also took part in workshops on cold water shock, inland waters risk assessments, safer open water swimming venues and our learning on water-related suicide. In the afternoon practical rescue sessions from Avon Fire and Rescue Service, along with a review of the water space in Bristol, was led by RoSPA.
You can view images from the day, and speaker slide decks.
View the RoSPA National Water Safety Conference 2017 gallery
Download a high resolution photo set (30mb .zip)
Swim Group summit
Earlier this week I attend the Swim Group summit for swimming and water safety hosted by Swim England. The summit looked at how best to prioritise and deliver the recommendations made in the report to ensure all children leave primary school able to swim.
Guests also received updated on the wider evidence base for swimming, a result of work supported by Swim England, insights from the #Loveswimming campaign and progress within the APPG for swimming.
Despite the challenges of delivery and funding, I was left a clear sense of purpose among those in the room to address the large numbers of children who leave school unable to swim, and the 1 in 20 schools that do not provide swimming lessons despite it being part of the curriculum.
Overall, in what was a very busy and positive month for water safety in the UK, I’ve been left with two key thoughts: that having swimming and water safety skills is a critical life skill – one that everyone agrees we should protect and promote; that positive and thoughtful injury prevention approaches can help contribute toward a reduction in the risk of unintentional injury, while helping wider outcomes such as increasing active travel and sports participants.
David Walker, leisure safety manager
Posted: 10/26/2017 8:54:23 AM