Message from the Chair
I can’t quite believe its December; 2022 has certainly been a busy one for everyone involved with the NWSF and water safety.
We have had great success in securing additional funding to formally support the launch of Respect The Water as a collaborative campaign which had a significant reach (see campaign report further down). A great deal of work has seen the completion and publication of the annual drowning fatality report in May. A collaborative effort in education has been helped by the efforts of several parents. Colleagues have been in discussion with the Department of Education about the drafting of a core lesson plan on water safety which could be used in schools. There was fantastic support for World Drowning Prevention Day in UK with lots of landmark buildings going blue, also behind the scenes many meetings and collaborative efforts addressed the impacts of extreme dry and hot weather during six weeks in the summer. There has also been significant progress with our new WAID 2 data project which will be a game changer for next year in terms of data quality and capture.
As I write this the World Cup is on, also companies and clubs and students are planning their Christmas parties. Whilst we all want to wish everyone a “Merry Christmas”, we urge people to do so away from waterside locations where safety could be compromised. The Royal Lifesaving Society’s annual seasonal campaign reminds us all about the risk of drinking and drowning and calls on people to “Be a mate” and ensure everyone gets home safely after a night out celebrating.
Who knows exactly what 2023 will have in store? We know that post-COVID and with pools closing due to utility inflation that we will have a generation who have had less opportunity to learn to swim. At the same time, we predict the continued growth in open water and water sports.
Finally, one thing I do know is that we remain reliant on your hard work, collaborative support and pulling together to ensure that drowning prevention and enjoying the water safely remains front and centre of our work, with a determined focus on continuing to ensure we drive down deaths and injuries in water.