L-R: Phillips, Jameson, Parker, Nunn, Tompkins, Williams, Bombroff, Poole, Murray, Port and Cossons.

In February, the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) launched an appeal to appoint Youth Ambassadors, aiming to lead on lifesaving issues concerning young people and be proactive in engaging young people in their local area.

Now, as Drowning Prevention Week 2019 draws to a close, RLSS UK are delighted to confirm that a team of twelve Youth Ambassadors have acceded to the posts; the newly-formed Youth Leadership Team (YLT) are now in place and already raring to go, ready to take our water safety messages and activities, out to a grass-roots, community audience.

Many congratulations to:

As part of the appointment of the Youth Ambassadors, RLSS UK are also excited to announce that the iconic open water swim brand, Selkie Swim, have jumped aboard with a generous sponsorship of the YLT, providing them with unique, Selkie Swim and RLSS UK co-branded merchandise.

RLSS UK Youth Ambassador, Kelsea Murray explains:

“I’ve only been involved with RLSS UK for a few years but this was an opportunity for me to make a real difference in my local community.

“In my leisure industry experience, I’ve seen young people fall away from lifesaving once they complete programmes like ‘Rookie Lifeguard’ or ‘Survive & Save’ – they want to keep up their activity but don’t really know how or where to do it.

“We are aiming to create a more tangible network for these young people to tap in to, so they know they have advice and support for their drowning prevention activities.

“The fact that we’re now supported by such a well-known brand as Selkie Swim, is an added bonus. Their clothes are stylish, comfy and eco-friendly – that’s really important to me.”

Tottie Owen-Smith, Operations Director for Selkie Swim added:

“We are delighted to be able to support RLSS UK’s Youth Ambassadors and the YLT.

“As a brand, we recognise the importance of the younger generation promoting safe swimming, it also inspires others to become involved with RLSS UK which can only be a positive for all concerned.

“We hope the YLT will be warm and cosy in our sweatshirts and tees.” 

The weekend of 18 May saw the YLT gather for the first time, at RLSS UK’s head office in Worcester:

“The weekend was designed to bring everyone together and start to share ideas and plans to take forward,” explains James Cossons, RLSS UK’s Youth Advisor.

“It is vitally important to the future work of the Society, that young people are not just engaged with our water safety messages but feel actively empowered to share and act on them.

“The whole weekend just buzzed with enthusiasm, ideas and stories – it’s a very exciting time for the organisation, me and the new Youth Ambassadors!”

RLSS UK Youth Ambassador Alex Poole added:

"The weekend was a great opportunity for young people from all sorts of backgrounds to collaborate and brainstorm some exciting ideas, towards a better and more inclusive RLSS UK for the future. 

“It was refreshing to know that complete strangers can collaborate so effectively, when talking about a subject we were all passionate about."

So, what is an RLSS UK Youth Ambassador?

Each Ambassador will focus their work in their close communities, providing a crucial link between localised youth engagement in RLSS UK Branches and Clubs, the five Community Drowning Prevention Co-ordinators (CDPCs) and the RLSS UK Youth Advisor, James Cossons.

Acting as an advocate for the Youth Advisor, each Youth Ambassador will be working at a local level, engaging young people in drowning prevention activities, education and training, spreading lifesaving skills, advice and messages to a wide and varied audience. 

Key responsibilities:

  • To champion youth engagement and development across their given area.
  • To provide an active contribution to the RLSS UK Youth Board and a national Youth Network.
  • Ensure that good communications are free flowing between the Youth Advisor, young people, branches and their CDPC.
  • To support the identification and co-ordination of appropriate training, personal development and mentoring of young people.
  • To report to the RLSS UK Youth Advisor, highlighting their work, good practise, positive news stories, concerns and general feedback.

You can get social with the YLT @RLSSUK_Youth 

For more on Selkie Swim, their ethos, events and merchandise: www.selkieswim.com