Robert Gofton
28 June 2019

Thank you to everyone who took the time to read my last monthly blog and for asking how it could be a monthly blog when I’d only been in post for 16 days!

Well, I’m pleased to share with you my latest monthly blog which actually covers a month in post!

One of the great opportunities, when you are new, is to get the opportunity to meet, listen and converse with a wide range of key stakeholders and one of my missions during the past month has been to personally meet every member of staff. I do this for a few reasons but mainly because I want to understand some of their journey to RLSS UK, their individual roles and how it contributes to the overall success of our organisation and to thank them for that contribution to date. The other key factor to me is for them to feel I’m open, approachable and ready to listen to everyone’s views on how we make RLSS UK even more successful. I’m lucky we have a relatively small staff team that enables me to undertake this important task.

What I am clear on, is that we have a talented, dedicated and highly motivated team and I thank them for everything they do and for making me feel so welcome.

I thanked our trainers and volunteers in my last blog and combined with our staff team and supportive Board of Trustees, I am incredibly excited about the future.

I have been privileged to attend a number of meetings with key partners and will continue to do so over the forthcoming weeks. In particular, I have attended events with the National Water Safety Forum and RLSS Commonwealth. What is clear to me from attending these, is that there is real strength in our collectivism, having a national and international voice and we must be confident about using this collective strength to shape and challenge the future.

Together we can help to continually reduce the number of fatal drownings.  At RLSS UK, we are committed to using our skills and expertise in water safety, training and education to help achieve this aim.

I also believe we should be doing more to recognise every individual who has used their lifesaving and lifeguarding skills to save lives, one story that has touched me recently is where a teenage boy was using a rope swing, fell from the swing, hit his head on a rock and disappeared under the water. His two friends jumped in to rescue their friend and kept him safe until the paramedics arrived. One of the boys is part-way through his pool lifeguard training said that it was this training that gave him the skills and confidence to know what to do in the emergency. This is such an incredible act and acutely demonstrates the impact we have on our community. I hope to meet the boys soon, so we give them the recognition they deserve.

It is an honour to work for an organisation that is committed to saving lives.