MP for Salford and Eccles Rebecca Long Bailey visited the Salford Community Leisure’s Helly Hansen Watersports Centre on Salford Quays on Thursday 20 April, to help highlight issues around water safety and promote water safety education.

Ms Long Bailey met with Michael Wardle, who is a Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) lifeguard, to discuss the importance of water safety education.

RLSS UK, a national charity who provides free water safety education, believes that water safety education should be on the curriculum in schools to equip all children with the right skills and knowledge to safely enjoy a lifetime of fun in the water.

During the visit, Ms Long Bailey said, “Devastatingly, over the last few years, lives have tragically been lost in the waters at Salford Quays. The police and Salford council have been working hard to increase patrols and to inform visitors about water safety measures, as well as currently undertaking an independent review into water safety, but education is also a key part of ensuring water safety.

"I thank the Royal Life Saving Society UK and its volunteers, in providing free water safety education to our community. This is vital for informing the many people who visit the Quays each year of the dangers open waters present, especially during the hot summer months.”

RLSS UK produces lesson plans and resources for teachers at both primary and secondary schools to integrate water safety into the curriculum. During the charity’s Drowning Prevention Week campaign in 2022, they were able to educate over 341,000 school children with the free downloadable school resources available. As well as this, the charity was able to engage with over 50 MPs in a water safety event at Westminster, with the hope that MPs raise the issue in their own constituencies.

Michael Wardle who led the session on behalf of RLSS UK said "The Royal Life Saving Society UK is the foremost drowning prevention charity. Our mission statement is "to help people stay safe in, on and around water". This is only achievable by the hard work of our volunteers. Partnership working is a major tool to achieve this. With the support of Salford Leisure Service, RLSS UK has set up a seasonal Lifesaving club at Salford Quays, whose aim is to educate, inform, and reduce death by drowning.”

View education resources