February 2012 Newsletter
Thanks to everyone who came to share their views at the West Region Club Consultation evening in Portishead on 18 Jan. This was a valuable opportunity to meet other volunteers from across the region, share ideas and understand the challenges facing our clubs. If you weren't able to attend, it's not too late - we always love to hear your news. Whether your club is thriving or you need a bit of advice, please drop us an e-mail and tell us what you're up to - if you don't get in touch we can't help!

International Youth Lifesaving Exchange:
15-22 Aug 2012

The closing date is fast approaching - if you'd like to join lifesavers from Germany and the West of England on this year's exchange you need to get your application in by 15 Feb!

During the exchange we’ll get to know the German participants, learn beach lifeguard skills together (including open-water swimming, beach sprints, lifeguard patrol skills and how to use specialised rescue equipment) and take a tour of the RNLI’s training facility in Poole. We’ll then show our visitors the best that RLSS West Region has to offer, as we spend a few days taking part in lifesaving and cultural activities together.

The exchange is open to RLSS members from the West Region aged 14-18 and costs £280 per person (includes food, travel, accommodation, activities, personalised sweatshirt and attendance at planning days). There are also two free places available for youth leaders who are willing to assist during the exchange. Please get in touch if you'd like more information.

For more details, or to download an application form, see: www.rlsswest.org.uk/west-region/international-exchange

RLSS UK Honours
There are loads of volunteers within the branch who offer their time and expertise for free, but so far we have only received one nomination for RLSS Honours! Honours are a great opportunity to recognise the people who make a difference within the branch. Why not nominate someone within your Club, Group or ATC who deserves to be recognised?

All the information about Branch Honours can be found on the West Region website at www.rlsswest.org.uk/west-region/honours/. The deadline has now been extended, so please submit your nominations to the Branch by 20 Feb.

Grants
The branch has money available to help fund lifesaving related projects. If you have an idea that would benefit from some additional funding, please get in touch! No-one has applied to the branch for a grant within the last 12 months so any lifesaving-related project will be considered: whether you're buying new equipment, running a training course or setting up a new lifesaving club, please get in touch. For more details see: http://rlsswest.org.uk/west-region/grants/

National Water Safety Awareness Week
National Water Safety Week is a great opportunity to make a splash about the importance of lifesaving skills and give people a chance to meet Royal Lifesaving Society volunteers to find out more. From the 16th - 24th June 2012, the RLSS will be promoting having fun and being safe in, on and near water.

We'd like to invite every lifesaver within the branch to get involved - maybe your club can host an event? Or just make a special effort to invite new members along for a taster session? Whatever you're planning we want to hear about it! Contact us at avon@rlsswest.org.uk and we'll help to publicise your event.
Virtual League
The West Region Virtual League is being re-launched! Lifesavers complete one or more of the events during their normal training sessions, then upload their times to the West Region Website. This is an easy way to compare your times to other lifesavers from across the region without travelling miles to compete. Full details will be published on the West Region Website soon: http://rlsswest.org.uk/sport/virtual-league/

Sport Sessions
If you'd like some help to introduce Lifesaving Sport to your club, please get in touch. Volunteer instructors can attend your training session for FREE to give you an introduction to lifesaving sport events. No experience or equipment needed! Contact avon@rlsswest.org.uk for more information.

Emergency Response Activity Supervisor Course
Henleaze Swimming Club, in conjunction with RLSS West Region, is pleased to offer the Emergency Response Activity Supervisor qualification. This 12-hour course will give you the practical lifesaving skills that you need to supervise, teach or coach programmed activity at open water sites. For full details please see http://rlsswest.org.uk/event/emergency-response-activity-supervisor-course/

Keep In Touch
We love hearing your news, so please keep in touch via Facebook, Twitter, or E-mail. Please let me know if you have any news for the next edition of the newsletter.
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