Published: 12 March 2021

Whilst September 2019 saw Nicolle Herrington become RLSS UK’s Ambassador for the East Midlands region, she’s been with the Society since becoming a lifeguard in 2008, at just 17-years-old. 

As we celebrate our super-skilled mums this Mother’s Day, Nicolle shares her RLSS UK journey with us: 

“In a nutshell I'm an enthusiastic, eccentric mum-of-three from Lincolnshire who is mad enough to run her own swim school! 

My three children are all under seven-years-old which keeps me on my toes and as a family, we all enjoy lots of coastal walks, SUP-ing and travelling.  

“I’ve been involved with RLSS UK pretty much my entire adult life, since becoming a lifeguard for my local leisure centre, and I haven’t really looked back. The skills and training being a lifeguard gives you have had, and continue to have, a positive impact on my career to date.  

“I studied to be a radiographer at university, I’ve been both a Duty and General Manager for a leisure venue, I’ve worked for the NHS and I now run my own swim school and training business. If that wasn’t keeping me busy enough, I am currently training to be a paramedic too. 

“Meeting new people, working as a team, working under stress and pressure – these are all cliched benefits of working as a lifeguard but they’re a cliché for a reason…they’re all true! Not to mention of course, that you are expertly trained to step in and save a life, often in those crucial first few minutes of an emergency situation. 

“Learning to respect others, customer service, reliability and adaptability, are all skills that have helped me gain the self-confidence that has powered me through to where I am today, and they aren’t something you can learn from a book - these are real-life experiences that are valuable transferable skills for other jobs. 

“RLSS UK have been with me every step of the way; their support and provision have helped me excel both personally and professionally, helping me embody the values and skills learned as a lifeguard. I can’t think of a job I’ve applied for that hasn’t prized the learning and experiences lifeguarding has given me. 

“My skills and training have even come in handy as a mum! Luckily, I have never had to use my first aid training on any of my children, but the sense of security that comes from having those skills is priceless. It also means that all my children are ‘water babies’, learning to swim from as young as possible to now, my eldest is so savvy with water safety and CPR, she helps me run the family beach sessions each summer. It’s fair to say that it’s a family aspiration to share that knowledge far and wide. 

“I consider myself to be extremely fortunate; from taking that initial step and qualifying as a lifeguard, I am now a business owner, trainee paramedic and mum-of-three. I have freedom to be flexible around my family commitments and I couldn't be more thankful for that. The skills and training I have gained have made me a more confident, calmer and balanced person in every aspect of my life, and I take pride in working in an industry that prioritises helping others. 

“I must admit though…not matter how multi-skilled I may feel and know I am 100 per cent still winging this mother thing!”