Hello everyone, I hope you all had a fantastic summer.

As we approach autumn and children start to prepare for their return to school, I thought it would be an excellent time to focus on the environment, our work with young people and how I see both of these elements, as key to the future development of RLSS UK.

It has been an interesting summer with several temperature records set. We’ve had the UK's highest recorded temperature and more recently, the hottest late August Bank Holiday Monday on record too! In between, we saw one of my favourite festivals (Boardmasters) cancelled due to severe wind warnings and UK-wide flood warnings, with Whaley Bridge hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

So, what’s going on?

Well, the topic of climate change is way too complicated to be covered in this blog, but with my limited experience on the subject, it is clear that we all can do more to protect the environment and help to reduce the impact of climate change. Where I think RLSS UK can help is by starting to embed sustainability within our organisational strategy therefore, over the next few months, we will be looking at how we can help minimise our impact on the environment and I hope you will do the same, and join us on this vital journey.

Unfortunately, one of the immediate risks linked to environmental change, is the increased dangers of drowning. Tragically, each year we see a rise in drownings when the temperatures increase, as people see the inviting opportunity to cool down, too often without fully recognising the dangers some waters possess. This is particularly pertinent at the moment, following the devastating news that someone has drowned in the River Trent over the Bank Holiday. My thoughts, as ever, go out to his family and all the families of those that have lost loved ones in similar circumstances.

Click here to view all our water safety advice.

One of the ways in which I think we can really make an impact on a long-term reduction of accidental drownings, is through education and in particular, by getting children involved in initiatives such as our Rookie Lifeguard programme and raising awareness of campaigns such as the excellent ‘Float to Live’ campaign, run by our friends at the RNLI. This programme provides a brilliant introduction to lifeguarding and lifesaving, giving children vital skills but in a fun and exciting way. The Rookie Lifeguard programme teaches children how to swim and enjoy the water safely, whether in shallow or deeper water.

It is a comprehensive and exciting scheme, equipping children with lifesaving skills and builds confidence in and around, bodies of water.

We are also encouraging current members of RLSS UK and who hold one of our Trainer Assessor (TA) or Instructor qualifications, to deliver this award.

I would urge anyone reading this to find out more about the Rookie Lifeguard programme and encourage as many of the children you know, to get involved. For more information, please get in touch with us or visit the link on our homepage. It really will make a difference in protecting our children while allowing them to enjoy the benefits of being in or near water.

I am convinced that programmes like this should be an essential part of their journey in learning to swim.

As ever, I hope you all enjoy the last few days of summer and the holidays.

N.B. Apologies to all my French readers who will have noticed my incorrect spelling of Moliets in my last blog. Suffice to say it is a beautiful part of the South West of France, and I thoroughly recommend a visit! I hope I’m allowed back!