Latest News Leisure centres across the UK join to make waves and support national campaign A drowning prevention campaign, which aims to cut down the hundreds of deaths caused by accidental drowning across the UK every year, is receiving huge support from the leisure industry. Leisure centres across the UK are signing up to support Drowning Prevention Week 2014 and running a host of events and activities using the free and fun educational resources provided by the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), including a ‘Perry Pack’ exclusively designed for pools. This year’s campaign, running from 21st to 29th June, is adding to its focus audience of primary school children, by targeting 11 to15-year-olds. The move comes in a bid to help avoid a tragic repeat of last summer where more than 30 people lost their lives to drowning in open water in just seven weeks, many of them young men and boys, and a new, short, hard-hitting film has also been produced to help drive the message home to thrill-seeking youngsters. Campaign Manager, Karen Welsh, said, “We always receive fantastic support from the leisure industry but this year we have had more centres and providers sign up than ever. They are supporting in lots of ways, from simply displaying our posters and selling our wristbands to running events and challenges to raise money and sharing the film. “We want as many children as possible to sign up to these fun events and learn, what could be, potentially lifesaving skills as well as enjoy the water in a safe environment. We thank everyone who is getting involved with our charity’s campaign and helping to give children the skills they need to stay safe while enjoying the water.” Accidental drowning causes around 400 UK deaths every year, the equivalent of one person drowning every 20 hours. Thousands more suffer near drowning experiences, some resulting in life-changing injuries. Drowning is still the third highest cause of accidental death in children in the UK. GLL, the UK’s largest Charitable Social Enterprise leisure operator, has committed to running the Drowning Prevention Week activities across its Better leisure centre network. Mark Sesnan, Managing Director for GLL, said, “We are delighted to support RLSS UK to inform as many young people as possible and reduce the shocking number of people drowning each year. We believe that it is crucial for everyone to be able to swim, and we will continue to educate our customers about how to be safe near water, while offering what we think will be really fun activities for children and adults.” Drowning Prevention Week will also see schools across the country holding activities to help raise awareness of how to be safe in, on or around water. The campaign raises money to support the charity’s drowning prevention work, which includes providing support for families or anyone affected by drowning or near drowning, including lifeguards. The campaign also encourages people to sign up for RLSS UK lifesaving courses including Rookie Lifeguard for under 12s and Survive & Save for everyone over 12-years-old. To find out more about getting involved in Drowning Prevention Week, you can download a host of resources, order your Perry Pack, or run lifesaving courses at your centre. To download the host of resources and to find out more, visit www.drowningpreventionweek.org.uk or contact [email protected] To see and share the film, please visit http://bit.ly/1tqKGbI. Also please, get involved in our Thunderclap on social media, sign up and we can get our message out simultaneously to kick off Drowning Prevention Week. Simply click here to join thndr.it/1lTSkqR or visit the homepage of our website for details.