January 2012 Newsletter
Happy New Year! We start the year as we mean to go on, with loads of events in the branch and across the West Region. Whether you're into competitions, open water lifesaving, lifeguarding, teaching or awards I can guarantee that there's an event for you in 2012! Previous events have been great fun, and they're a brilliant way to meet other lifesavers from across the region. If you've never been to an RLSS West Region event before, why not make a New Year's reolution to come along to at least one event in 2012?

Have YOUR say...
RLSS West Region is running a very special event in January - the first Club Consultation evening for lifesavers. This is your chance to have YOUR say about what the Branch and Region does in 2012. The evening is open to everyone, but we'd be especially pleased to welcome young lifesavers (all youth lifesavers who attend will receive a FREE Survive and Save goodie bag). The event will take place in the Folk Hall, Portishead from 7:30-9:00 on Wed 18 Jan - please get in touch if you need a lift. Drop me an e-mail to find out more: david@rlsswest.org.uk

International Youth Lifesaving Exchange: 15-22 Aug 2012
Young lifesavers from Germany and the West of England are taking part in a week-long programme of lifesaving & cultural activities and we want YOU to join us!

During the exchange we’ll get to know our German friends, 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).

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

RLSS UK Honours
You may have seen the announcement of the Queen's New Year's Honours list - well RLSS UK has its own honours system to reward the time and expertise our members give to the Society. If you know of someone within your Club, Group or ATC that deserves to be recognised, please get in touch.

All the information about Branch Honours can be found on the West Region website at www.rlsswest.org.uk/west-region/honours/. Please submit your nominations to the Branch by 31st January.

Success for Thornbury Rookies
Lee Heard (The new National Youth Engagement Officer) visited Thornbury Leisure Centre to meet with five very special young Rookies that had run an event to raise over £330. The girls put together a body board relay, a raffle and a cake sale that they ran through their own initiative from start to finish with little input from the adults involved with the club. This is a special club that is ran by some wonderfully devoted trainers and attended by some young and passionate lifesavers. For more details see: http://rlssonline.com/?p=723&option=com_wordpress&Itemid=579
Lifesaving Update Session...
The Somerset Branch are hosting an update session for all those who want to teach the new Survive and Save awards or are interested in knowing more about them. The session will give you the opportunity to update to become an Instructor or Instructor Tutor (if you meet the pre-requisites), information on the new awards, the chance to network with other instructors and the opportunity to ask questions. You'll also have the chance to update your CRB and renew your Life Support 3 award.

The session takes places from 10am-12:30am on Sat 14 Jan at Puriton Village Hall. Please see www.rlsswest.org.uk/event/lifesaving-instructor-update-session/ for more details.

Lifesaving Sport Training
RLSS West Region is running another lifesaving sport training session. This is the perfect introduction to lifesaving sport events and incidents - ideal for those who are new to lifesaving sport or for Survive and Save instructors looking to brush up their technique. The training will take place in Bristol and the date has now changed to 5 Feb 2012. Further details will be published on http://rlsswest.org.uk/ as soon as they are available...

National Water Safety Awareness Week
RLSS National Water Safety Awareness Week will take place from 16-24 June 2012. All lifesaving groups are encouraged to put on some sort of event to mark the occasion - perhaps you could hold a taster session for new members, put on a course for your local community or run a competition to design a water-safety poster? If you need any help putting your idea into practice please get in touch!

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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