RLSS UK, University of York, York St John’s University, York Rescue Boat, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service


To educate students on the risks of walking home near water or entering the water when intoxicated.

Target audience
  • Those in danger of falling in when walking home near water
  • Ages 17-29
  • Focus on males

What did the campaign look like?

The campaign ran from January 25 to 29 2016, on the anniversary of former York university student Megan Roberts who lost her life to drowning two years previously. Both the city’s universities were fully supportive of the campaign:

  • Posters and leaflets were displayed across both universities.
  • York St Johns Student Union officers completed a Student Survey on iPads to help with evaluating behaviour change.
  • York St John’s University used their existing initiative Plan Safe, Drink Safe, Home Safe to raise awareness of the campaign.
  • York St John’s Student Union officers hosted a stand in Holgate, engaging people with resources such as pens and wristbands.
  • Posters and beermats were placed in Skint Bar. Free toast was given out to students before they headed home, along with campaign safety messages.
  • North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and York Rescue Boat brought their vehicles to the universities and posed for pictures with students with the Don’t Drink and Drown social media photo ring. Photos were then shared on social media.
  • Both the University of York and York St John’s Student Union played the Don’t Drink and Drown film at their student unions and displayed beermats. Collection tins were also placed on the bars.
  • On the main sport’s social nights, posters and beermats were displayed in Fibbers and Salvation, the two main clubs in the city centre that students from both universities visit.
  • Volunteers and the Night Safe team handed out branded bottles of water.
  • York St Johns Student Union officers organised a Rowathon in Holgate to raise awareness and funds for RLSS UK.
  • Adult Community CPR workshops were held to train students at both the University of York and York St John’s in basic lifesaving skills.
  • Volunteers released 400 balloons in York city centre, representing those who lose their lives to drowning every year. 

  • Engagement resource spend – £638.95

  • Physical Reach – 23,135
  • Twitter Reach – 32,566
  • Facebook Reach – 34,700
  • PR Reach – 4,369,342