7. To ask the Scottish Government how it will raise awareness of the water safety action plan ahead of the summer to ensure that people stay safe in and around Scotland’s waters. (S6O-01258)
The member has chosen an apt moment to raise the issue, as this week is the Royal Life Saving Society UK’s drowning prevention week.
On 18 May, I convened a further meeting with our water safety action plan stakeholders, including the Royal Life Saving Society UK, and plans to raise awareness of water safety issues in advance of the summer were discussed at some length. The discussion covered activities on several fronts, including on-going work with Water Safety Scotland to raise awareness about staying safe around the water, identify drowning hotspots and improve water safety signage and messaging.
As the minister said, this is drowning awareness week 2022. It is one of the largest summer water safety campaigns across the United Kingdom, which is a great opportunity for organisations to educate the public to enjoy water safely.
What impact has the £60,000 funding grant for Water Safety Scotland in March had on organisations that have an interest in water safety?
The Scottish Government provides annual funding to enable the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents—RoSPA—to deliver an effective programme of home and water safety activity for Scotland. This year’s total of nearly £180,000 includes an additional £60,000, which is purely to better enable RoSPA to expand the support that is provided to Water Safety Scotland, which is the key forum for relevant organisations to come together to share knowledge and learning and to reinforce one another’s efforts. It will enable Water Safety Scotland to develop its pivotal leadership and management role to ensure support for all organisations in its growing membership, and to fully support the diverse workstreams that are associated with the delivery of “Scotland’s Drowning Prevention Strategy 2018-2026” and the water safety action plan. One specific example is enabling—