Georgina is a qualified RLSS UK Lifeguard, Rookie Lifeguard Instructor, and holds an Instructor Award as well as a Survive & Save Medallion.  

Away from her day job as a Technical Associate, Georgina volunteers for RLSS UK at various events around the UK and volunteers as an Instructor for Retford and District Lifesaving for Rookie and Lifesaving Sport.  

Event Volunteering: 

Georgina has volunteered as a lifeguard at events including Wilderness Festival, the Great North Swim, and Henley Royal Regatta. Georgina said, “I was drawn to lifeguarding at events because I wanted to lifeguard in a different context to the pool and experience something new. 

Georgina Tomlinson volunteering at event

“At the Great North Swim, we tend to lifeguard most of the day. You will have a position, either on a boat with a boat driver, on the dock, or in the water and the entry and exit points. I normally go to the entry and exit points, here I get to meet lots of people as they are about to start, nervous and excited, and at the end as they are happy, grateful for your help and feel accomplished.  

Georgina Tomlinson volunteering as a lifeguard

“This is a very hands-on and physical role but you get food provided and you get to work with a great team of boat drivers, St John Ambulance, event organisers and other lifeguards. We get to have time after the event to connect, eat and have some down time with the rest of the lifeguard team. 

“At Wilderness Festival, we have shifts throughout the day on different positions around the two lakes, some standing on side, some on paddleboards and some on a boat. Food is provided for all three meals, and you camp for the event. We get to enjoy the festival between and after shifts, including going to different food stalls for snacks, seeing different performances and shopping at the other stalls. This is a great social event but also a great event for getting open water lifeguard experience.” 

Georgina Tomlinson volunteering at event

Georgina says that her favourite part of volunteering at these events is “meeting people at the events and connecting with my team or other lifeguards.” 

Club Volunteering: 

As well as volunteering as a lifeguard Georgina has volunteered as an Instructor at her local club as well as the National Lifesaving Championships, the National Speeds Championships and the World Championships for many years. She said “I was drawn to instructing because I wanted to help teach the skills I’d learnt and help the kids at my club.” 

Georgina Tomlinson volunteering at her local club

At her lifesaving club, Georgina helps teach in both the pool and the classroom so the children can practice rescues, swimming, self-survival and first aid. Georgina said, “You get to really know the kids as you teach them every week and you get to see them develop. Some of the kids I taught in Rookie (age 8-12) are now  in our competition squad (age 13-18). 

“At competition, it is normally an early start around 6:30am to be at the pool for 7am. We then make sure the kids warm up and get mentally ready for the events they have that day. I then make sure to get all the heats and lanes for the competitors and marshall them to their events. Throughout the day, I’m taking notes of times and analysis against previous times. I help the team by talking through the events and giving encouragement and tips too. The day normally finishes by the team coming together for medals and pictures or a meal if the event is over multiple days.” 

Georgina says that her favourite part of volunteering at her club is “seeing people develop and achieve things in the club as lifesavers and people. Being a part of a club and teaching is so fulfilling, you can keep your skills sharp while passing it on to the next generation. I have loved being a part of my club and seeing how much the kids I teach develop, not only into good lifesavers but well-rounded people.” 

Volunteering is important to Georgina and she feels it has given her lots of great opportunities.  

“Volunteering as a lifeguard will provide you with some many great experiences and I have made so many great friends through it. It’s free, all it takes is your time."

Find out more about volunteering for RLSS UK