As Bude Lifeboat Week approaches, the RNLI and the communities in the south-west will benefit once again as South West Water continues to support the RNLI for another year as one of its Charity Partners. Obviously, anything that can help beach safety is useful and helpful.
South West Water and the RNLI have a long history of working together. Over the last three years, the funding provided by South West Water has enabled the RNLI to engage with schools across the region, educating around 25,500 young people on important water safety and how to stay safe when using the beach or visiting the coast.
In the South Devon area, funds have directly supported the lifeboat stations at Torbay and Exmouth, funding the volunteers’ training and equipment.
With the continued support from South West Water, the RNLI are looking to launch new and exciting education and safety initiatives in Devon and Cornwall. This will include an education tool called Beach Buddies. A seaside puppet theatre that delivers beach and water safety messages to children, the puppet theatre is a fun and interactive way of reaching younger audiences and has seen fantastic success with children and adults.
The support will also enable the RNLI to pilot a trial of digital signage at the entrance to beaches enabling the charity to provide specific area information on the local hazards and how to stay safe and weather conditions with an appropriate weather warning. For example: not to use inflatables above a certain wind speed. I hope this works, though most digital signage I’ve ever seen is not maintained or quickly breaks down. Still, the charity will be able to use the digital signage to activate up to date content to inform visitors such as beach closures, water quality and other important announcements.
Ellie Walker RNLI Community Fundraising Manager says:
‘We are extremely grateful for the continued support of South West Water. Based on a poll of its staff, over the last three years, South West Water has donated £45,000 to the RNLI in support of our ongoing lifesaving work across the South West region, enabling us to train and equip our volunteer crews and educate the next generation in essential water safety.
We are really excited to be able to roll out our successful Beach Buddies educational puppet show, which was first initiated in the south-west by one of our talented education volunteers and has proved a really fun and interactive way to get the beach safety message across to young children.
The digital signage is a really innovative solution to providing beachgoers with the most up to date safety information and we are delighted that South West Water are helping us to trial its success on beaches in the south-west. ’
South West Water’s Head of Community Relations Alan Hyde said:
‘Transforming our region’s bathing waters from polluted seas 25 years ago to some of the finest beaches in Europe today has been a key priority for South West Water’s for over two decades.
‘The RNLI enables residents and visitors to enjoy many of our region’s beautiful beaches safely, so we are delighted to continue to support the charity’s important work again this year.’