Launch of partnership as fears grow for drowning increase in the UK Two leading charities have launched a partnership during a national Day to Remember for victims of drowning, amidst fears that accidents and fatalities may rise this summer. The UK’s Drowning Prevention Charity, the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) has joined forces with Child Bereavement UK, in a bid to address the devastating impact drowning has on families and communities. The partnership announcement today (17 June), coincides with the RLSS UK’s Day to Remember, which is being held as part of the Drowning Prevention Week campaign, this year running from the 12-19 June. Families and friends will today be remembering loved ones that were lost to drowning, by posting images on social media and talking about their grief and overwhelming loss. Fears have been raised that there could be a significant rise in drowning incidences across the UK this summer when lockdown restrictions lift further, with a worrying number of accidents already hitting the news. Despite the number of accidental drownings dropping last year, latest statistics reveal that 623 people still died from drowning in the UK in 2019, and with lifeguard patrols currently postponed and emergency services already stretched to the limit, people are more at risk now than ever before. The new partnership will include referrals from RLSS UK to Child Bereavement UK for bereaved families via Child Bereavement UK’s National Helpline, which supports more than 6,000 people every year. The Helpline will also provide guidance and information for those with roles in lifesaving who may need support around a traumatic incident. RLSS UK Chief Executive Officer Robert Gofton said: “This partnership aims to give families who have been affected by drowning, access to professional and expert care and support. Child Bereavement UK has such a fantastic reputation for supporting bereaved families, and we’re delighted to have the opportunity to signpost the families we work with, both now and in the future, to the help they need to rebuild their lives.” Child Bereavement UK Chief Executive Officer Ann Chalmers said: “At Child Bereavement UK we know from the children, young people, parents and families we support, the devastation a death by drowning can bring. Our partnership with RLSS UK will help raise awareness of their important work on drowning prevention, and ensure that families bereaved by drowning, and professionals in the lifesaving sector, have access to the support they need.” Drowning Prevention Week aims to help everybody across the UK and Ireland learn basic water safety and rescue skills which could potentially save lives. Families are being urged to access the RLSS UK’s resources to learn how to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. The children’s resources aim to teach water safety in a fun and engaging way, whilst the Lifesaver-Lifechanger tool caters for older children (aged 10-years+) and adults. Robert Gofton continued: “We are extremely concerned that this summer will see people rushing to jump into the water without proceeding with caution and understanding the potential life-threatening implications. “The majority of drowning incidents can be prevented. By learning to recognise the potential dangers and becoming confident in how to respond to an emergency, you could save a life.” To access the resources, visit www.rlss.org.uk/dpw. For more information on Drowning Prevention Week, visit rlss.org.uk, follow RLSS UK on Twitter - @RLSSUK or go to RLSS UK’s Facebook page - facebook.com/RLSSUK. For bereavement support and information call Child Bereavement UK’s National Helpline 0800 02 888 40 or visit www.childbereavementuk.org.