The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) Drowning Prevention Week 2023 took place from 17 to 24 June. It was considered the biggest and most successful yet, with an estimated 1.85 million children learning lifesaving skills from water safety education during the week, including more than 1.3 million lessons delivered at leisure centres or by leisure centre staff.

One leisure operator that got fully behind the campaign was Parkwood Leisure, which manages over 90 venues on behalf of public and private sector partners throughout England and Wales. Throughout the week, their staff visited schools and local community groups, shared water safety skills during their timetabled swimming lessons and delivered water safety workshops to the general public. A range of activities for customers were also organised, including colouring competitions, CPR demonstrations, distributed water safety activity sheets and created informative displays in their reception areas as well as sharing water safety messages across their social media channels. Across all their sites, they delivered water safety lessons to over 87,000 children during the week's activities.

Drowning Prevention Week is the RLSS UK’s flagship awareness campaign, designed to support everybody across the UK and Ireland to enjoy water safely by sharing the skills and knowledge to make the right decisions about water safety and make memories that will last a lifetime for all the right reasons.

Jo Talbot, Commercial Director at RLSS UK, said: “We are delighted that the leisure industry got behind the RLSS UK’s Drowning Prevention Week campaign, especially when the industry faces so many challenges. Leisure Centres, swimming pools and swimming lessons are critical in ensuring that all, especially the next generation, are educated in water safety to have the knowledge and skills to enjoy water safely. It’s great to hear about Parkwood’s commitment to the campaign, and we would like to thank all Leisure Operators for their efforts during Drowning Prevention Week to get these vital messages to their customers, as their support is vital to making the campaign a success.”

Alex Godfrey, Operations Director at Parkwood Leisure, added: “As a leading leisure operator, we are responsible for supporting Drowning Prevention Week by creating as much awareness as possible about water safety. Our Learn to Swim programme prioritises survival techniques in water, and we run The RLSS UK Rookie Lifeguard programme, which, we hope, plays a significant role in minimising drowning incidents across the UK. I am proud of what our teams have achieved for Drowning Prevention Week this year, and we’ll continue to support our partners, the RLSS UK, with future campaigns.”

Click here to learn more about Drowning Prevention Week or tips on how to stay safe this summer.