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Wiltshire Council backs national Drowning Prevention Week campaign

Wiltshire Council leisure centres are urging parents to make sure their children know how to stay safe and enjoy the water this summer, by supporting RLSS UK's national Drowning Prevention Week campaign, this year running from 17-24 June 2023.

Published 12 June 2023
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Wiltshire Council leisure centres are urging parents to make sure their children know how to stay safe and enjoy the water this summer, by supporting RLSS UK's national Drowning Prevention Week campaign, this year running from 17 to 24 June 2023.

Whether heading abroad this summer or opting for a UK location, the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), is promoting a strong water safety message to ensure that families heading to beaches and inland water locations this summer, are aware of the potential dangers and can stay safe.

Drowning Prevention Week aims to equip everybody across the UK and Ireland with the skills and knowledge, to make the right decisions about water safety.

Figures indicate that around 25 per cent of primary pupils leave school unable to swim, and experts fear that following the pandemic many young people lack the ability to swim or self-rescue.

During Drowning Prevention week, Wiltshire Council operated swimming pools will have a water safety theme during the swimming lesson programme this will include learning the key water safety messages, how to float on their back, how to swim with clothes on and reach rescues.

Cllr Ian Blair-Pilling, Cabinet Member for Leisure, said: We are proud to play our part in ensuring our families have a safe summer. We recognise how vitally important it is for children to know how to stay safe near water and urge our parents to access RLSS UK's free water safety resources on the charity's website.

As per our business plan, we want to empower residents to increase their activity levels whilst using safe and healthy behaviours. We will be running a water safety theme week during all of our swimming lessons, teaching the Water Safety Code, plus other activities and skills to promote safe swimming. We want our pupils to enjoy all of the fun and benefits of being in and around water but be educated on how to do that safely.

The Royal Life Saving Society UK's Charity Director Lee Heard, said: The UK's beautiful waterways should be places where everyone feels at ease, and can take pleasure from their surroundings, whatever their age, whatever their activity level. But we're urging people to educate themselves and others on how to enjoy water safely and prevent a fun day out ending in tragedy.

The Drowning Prevention Week campaign is crucial this year. In recent years, young people have missed out on the vital opportunity to swim, leaving a dramatic gap in school swimming and water safety education.

RLSS UK believes that through free, accessible education and training, everyone can enjoy water safely. We urge as many parents as possible to get involved with the campaign, use our free online resources, and give their children the skills to enjoy a lifetime of fun in the water.

Visit www.rlss.org.uk/DPW (opens new window) to access the charity's free water safety resources.

Full details of swimming lessons offered at council leisure centres, plus information on how to book can be found: www.wiltshire.gov.uk/leisure-swim-school. Information on the individual swim school stages can be found: www.wiltshire.gov.uk/leisure-swim-school-stages.

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