RLSS holds Emerging Leaders Workshop at World Conference on Drowning Prevention

We were delighted to welcome 36 participants to the RLSS Emerging Leaders Workshop, held during November’s World Conference on Drowning Prevention (WCDP) in Penang,  Malaysia.

The two-day workshop, plus an evening session, was attended by emerging leaders from low and middle income countries and aimed to help young adults with a keen interest in lifesaving to develop their knowledge of global drowning and the practical steps that they and their organisations can take to combat the problem.

WCDP young leadersThe first day of the workshop, at the start of the conference, focused on preparing participants for attending WCDP and  getting the most out of it, including tips on how to plan their time at the event and make the most of networking opportunities. Most importantly, the day helped participants define their aims and expectations of the participants during the three days of WCDP.

On the evening of Wednesday 4th November, there was a short panel discussion session for participants to learn more about the funding and governance of drowning prevention projects.  The panellists for this session were Celia Muir (Speedo), Poonam Sattee (International Inspiration) and Tom Mecrow (RNLI International) who between them have extensive experience of what funders and backers look for in partner organisations and projects.

The second day of the workshop saw the bright ideas that participants had developed over the course of the conference turned into practical steps to benefit local communities in their own countries.  In the morning, there was a session on adopting an epidemiological framework to assess the requirements for drowning prevention interventions by Dr Steve Beerman (Lifesaving Society Canada).  This was followed by an overview of the WHO Global Report on Drowning and the upcoming companion guide by Tessa Clemens (Lifesaving Society Canada).

The majority of the day was based around the participants developing their ideas for drowning prevention projects in their own communities, with the aim of leaving the workshop with sufficiently detailed project plans and understanding of the actions required for them to achieve their stated goals.

Our thanks go to all the presenters and facilitators who took part in the workshop: Rebecca Sindall , Lee Heard, Dan Graham and Pete Moyes from the UK; Shayne Baker from Australia; Dylan Tommy from South Africa; Juanita Bueschleb from Canada; and Tom Mecrow and Peter Dawes from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

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