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Sharon Hodgson MP pledges support to the Royal Life Saving Society during Drowning Prevention Week 2015

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Sharon Hodgson MP pledges her support to the Royal Life Saving Society UK after the charity’s trip to Westminster.

On Tuesday the 16th of June Sharon Hodgson MP pledged her support to the Royal Life Saving Society UK and the crucial work it does in reducing drowning, providing water safety education and lifesaving awards across the UK and Ireland.

The Royal Life Saving Society UK sent representatives to the Palace of Westminster ahead of its annual national campaign, Drowning Prevention Week which this year runs from June 20th to June 28th.  They hoped to gain the support of MPs, so they in turn can support their constituents with drowning prevention messages.

Throughout the afternoon, CPR workshops and water safety advice sessions were held, where the RLSS UK invited MPs, including Sharon, to find out more about the charity and how best they can support their constituents.  Sharon then signed the RLSS UK’s pledge "to support RLSS UK in their aim to reduce the rate of drownings in the UK".

RLSS UK Chief Executive, Di Steer, said: “The number of accidental drowning incidences has, over the last few years, reached a plateau of around 400.  There is no quick fix to get this number down further.  There are many at-risk groups for many different reasons.  Education to instil a change in behaviour is considered the only method that will reach the final 400, as well as future generations, and help prevent these tragic deaths and accidents.

“We can’t do it alone. We need everyone’s help to raise awareness about the reality of accidental drowning, and to get water safety at the forefront of people’s minds.”

Peter Moyes, RLSS UK’s President added to this: “We were overwhelmed with the support offered by MPs during our session on Tuesday and can’t thank Sharon enough for pledging to help us in our efforts, not only during Drowning Prevention Week but all year round, especially to get water safety education taught in all schools.”

Speaking after the event Sharon said:

“This is an issue I am extremely passionate about, as too many people are dying unnecessarily and we really can make changes to stop this from happening.  In our local area we have seen a number of cases over recent years of young people drowning in the River Wear, and the pain these deaths have caused their families and friends should push us all to do more to stop more untimely deaths from happening."

The work the RLSS do is extraordinary and I am only too pleased to have been able to talk to them and pledge my support to their campaign.  Making sure we make progress on this means everyone working together to improve our collective education around the threats drowning poses to us all, and I am pleased to welcome National Drowning Week next week, which is highlighting this issue.  I hope my colleagues here in Parliament, and people all around the country, engage with it and learn more about what can be done to reduce deaths from drowning.”

"It cannot be emphasized how important RLSS UK’s work is."

Jackie Roberts, the mother of student Megan Roberts, who tragically drowned in the River Ouse in January last year, has been working with RLSS UK on a number of projects.

She said: “I am working with the RLSS UK as my daughter’s life meant so much and I want to do something in respect to her, and to prevent further tragedies.”

“It was great to talk to Sharon today and hopefully raise the importance of the charity’s work and the importance of water safety education.”

To prevent further tragedies and loss of life, such as the drowning of Megan Roberts, RLSS UK’s main goal is to promote drowning prevention messages and deliver water safety education nationally.  They work tirelessly to achieve this through various schemes and campaigns, including offering a range of awards and programmes that teach lifesaving skills to all ages, and the national campaign, Drowning Prevention Week.

Link to the RLSS UK Film – "Beneath the Surface – the Families' Stories" features people from across the UK who have lost someone to drowning and have shared their tragic experiences. http://youtu.be/YYUp4A43370

Link to the RLSS UK website which has a host of resources to help keep people safe - http://www.rlss.org.uk/water-safety/water-safety



For more information on the RLSS UK, Drowning Prevention Week 2015, water safety advice or details on lifesaving courses suitable for children and adults -  Visit their website www.rlss.org.uk
Follow them on Twitter - @RLSSUK
Visit their Facebook page - www.facebook.com/RLSSUK
Call - 01789 773994

The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) is the drowning prevention charity.  Around 400 people drown in the UK every year and the RLSS UK aims to prevent drowning through water safety education.  RLSS UK is the UK’s leading provider of water safety education.

There are nearly 90,000 RLSS UK Pool Lifeguards in the UK trained in the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ). Around 95 per cent of all pool lifeguards are trained by the RLSS UK.

RLSS UK awards and programmes teach a range of lifesaving skills ranging from life support (CPR) to water survival and rescue skills.  Programmes include "Rookie Lifeguard" (for eight to12-year–olds), "Survive and Save" (for 12 years+) and "Save a Baby’s Life" (a free course aimed at parents and carers of young children).

The RLSS UK (then the Life Saving Society) was formed in 1891.  In 1904, as there was great support for the organisation from the Royal Family, the society was granted permission to use the Royal title and became the Royal Life Saving Society.

Drowning Prevention Week is the national campaign run by the Royal Life Saving Society UK to cut down the number of accidental drowning that occur each year and support families affected by drowning.  This year it will run from June 20 – 28.

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