Message from the Chair
Spring is springing and I’m sure all members are grateful to see the lighter evenings arriving.
So far this year, I’ve had the pleasure of joining Water Safety Wales for their meeting in January and Water Safety Scotland in February. I’m looking forward to hosting an event for International Women’s Day focused on open water swimming in early March and, of course, the RoSPA National Water Safety Conference is coming up, in Cardiff, on 15 March (further details below).
We’re also looking forward to the start of the 2023 water safety campaign calendar, with the Canal & River Trust and the National Fire Chiefs Council campaigns kicking us off – details of both are below.
Finally, some comings and goings from the NWSF Co-ordinating Group (CG)…
After quite an extensive appointment period, we’re pleased to welcome two new members, Dan Ryan and Martin Barwood. Having chatted to both Dan and Martin, I know they’re going to bring some great insight to the group.
I’d also like to record my thanks to a few people...
First, to George Rawlinson, who was the previous chair of NWSF and supported the CG with several significant pieces of work over the years, and who has also been the NWSF’s link to the National Search and Rescue Board. George will be leaving the CG to enjoy his retirement and more sailing.
Second, a thank you to Gareth Morrison, who has been leading the NWSF Comms Group and has recently stood down; and to Jim Watson, who has been an active contributor for many years, including as Chair of the Recreation advisory group – his extensive experience will be sorely missed.
I’d also like to welcome Claire Gauci, who joins as the new Chair of the Comms Group; and Ashley Jones, the new Chair of the Recreation advisory group.
Thank you to all of those departing for all your hard work and welcome to those joining the CG.
I also want to briefly say what an honour it was to be awarded the King’s Fire Service Medal for meritorious service in the New Year’s Honours list. Aside from my day job and 19 years in the Fire and Rescue sector, I know the citation was largely focused on the work I’ve done with water safety in the UK... work that has been so much more rewarding because of some fantastic partner agencies. So, when I do attend my investiture, I’ll be telling whichever member of the Royal Family I meet of the fantastic work being done by the NWSF to improve water safety and reduce drownings.
I hope you enjoy reading our newsletter and, of course, we’re always keen to hear about anything you’d like to see featured.