The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), the Drowning Prevention Charity, is excited to announce the appointment of four new Community Drowning Prevention Co-ordinators.

The charity is dedicated to contributing to a year-on-year reduction in British and Irish drownings through its campaign work and many lifesaving awards programmes.

The new recruits will be invaluable in helping the charity to grow and achieve this to an even higher standard by reaching out into communities and working more closely with RLSS UK’s existing volunteer base.

Lee Heard, RLSS UK Volunteers and Community Manager, is positive about the impact these roles will have and is enthused about the ability of the individuals within the new team.

“We are very excited about these appointments as they will provide help us achieve our aims as a charity.

“Our members and volunteers are passionate about delivering our drowning prevention messages right into the heart of local communities but they are in need of more support and co-ordination to grow their contribution. The new team will provide this support so this is a very exciting time for all at RLSS UK.”

Meet the Team

Kenny MacDermid – Community Drowning Prevention Co-ordinator for the North [email protected]

Kenny is in his early-twenties and has a Degree in Philosophy. Kenny has had involvement with RLSS UK since he was eight-years-old as a Rookie Lifeguard. His involvement with the organisation evolved and he became an integral part of the organisation as a volunteer. His current roles include Regional Youth Development Officer for Scotland and he is a vital part of the working group for the RLSS 125th anniversary celebrations.

In his working life, Kenny has been involved in various sports management and duty manager roles starting in Livingston, Scotland, through to his former position for Nuffield Health where he was duty and membership manager. Kenny was able to use his volunteer and vocational experience to integrate high quality public drowning prevention information alongside professional lifeguarding practice.

He said: “I am looking forward to helping branches and clubs develop across my region and working with RLSS UK to increase the number of people confident and capable to save the life of another.”

Andrea Roberts – Community Drowning Prevention Co-ordinator for the West [email protected]

Andrea has worked in a variety of roles within the care, advice and education sectors, often working closely with volunteers to deliver frontline services within local authorities.

More recently she worked in a member-led charitable organisation at Plymouth University, within the student union, in a membership development capacity. She worked with students and their associations to deliver and develop their skills and goals within their club environment. Having developed her knowledge of running a charity in Plymouth, she took on the challenge of a Chief Executive post at the University of Wales: Trinity St David Students’ Union, working closely with a volunteer trustee board.

Andrea lives in West Wales with her family, cat and chickens, although Devon will always be known as her home. She volunteers with Girlguiding UK and has volunteered with the Waterways Recovery Group on restoration of canals. Having learnt lifesaving in school she is passionate about seeing more opportunities like this offered to the young people of today during their formative years.

Andrea said: “I am really excited to be working for RLSS UK in the new role of Community Drowning Prevention Co-ordinator and I am looking forward to getting stuck in!”

Hayley Reynolds – Community Drowning Prevention Co-ordinator for the South [email protected]

Hayley has experience of managing a day centre for adults with learning disabilities, working very closely with the local community to help them engage in meaningful daytime and evening activities.

As well as being involved with a peer review project, which involved training adults with learning disabilities within a partnership of seven different organisations, she has worked for the NHS providing advice, information and consultation for patients and families.

Hayley is currently a swimming teacher at Abingdon Swimming Club, where she also teaches RLSS UK awards, Rookie and Survive & Save as a lifesaving instructor. More recently she has become an aquatic tutor, helping to support and mentor others to become swimming teachers and help to develop and sustain the local club.

Hayley is married with two children who share her enthusiasm for swimming and water sports.

Hayley said: “I am really excited about having the opportunity to combine my passion for swimming and lifesaving with my work life and I am really looking forward to getting out and meeting our committed volunteers.”

Aaron Dhanda – Community Drowning Prevention Co-ordinator for the East [email protected]

Aaron’s passion for lifesaving started when he first joined Droitwich Lifesaving Club as a junior and has since progressed through many of the RLSS UK awards including qualifying as lifesaving instructor. Aaron has previously competed in lifesaving competitions and also judges at local competitions within his branch. He has been the youth advisor to the Management Board since June and has been involved with many different drowning prevention events and campaigns during this time.

Aaron studied Animation at the University of Worcester and worked in McDonald’s to help fund his studies. After leaving university Aaron decided to work full time at McDonald’s, where he was accepted into the management development programme and progressed to shift manager with a responsibility for around 70 members of staff and their training.

Aaron said: “I’m really excited about working for RLSS UK, hopefully I’ll be able to use all the knowledge and experience I’ve gained to help our volunteers’ delivery of the drowning prevention message to even more people.”