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Two charities join forces to help keep children safe in and around water

The RNLI and The Andrew Simpson Foundation are excited to be working together in 2019 to deliver water safety messaging to thousands of young people.

The Andrew Simpson Foundation exists as a charity to honour the legacy of Andrew “Bart” Simpson by working to transform the lives of disadvantaged young people through sailing and watersports.

The Andrew Simpson Centres are delivery mechanisms for the organisation’s Community Sailing Programmes, one of the Foundation’s key charitable activities. They also operate as regular watersports centres on a not-for-profit basis, with all surplus income invested back into the foundation.


There are several Community Sailing Programmes – one of which is ‘Discover Sailing’; this is where the partnership with the RNLI comes in. Discover Sailing is a mass participation programme whereby hundreds of young people visit each centre to experience sailing for the first time. Local school children are offered a ‘taster’ sailing session for £5 and are then given the opportunity to continue sailing through the watersports centres.

In 2018, a water safety element was added to the taster sailing sessions delivered in Portsmouth; this is now being rolled out to the centres in Reading and Portland. The water safety element of the sessions focusses on the RNLI’s youth safety messaging which is based on extensive research into the four key steps that young people can take to keep themselves safe when in around water. As well as receiving relevant instruction from the tutors, all young people will also take home a 14-page RNLI booklet which reinforces the learning and allows the youngsters to share the safety messaging with their friends and family.


The RNLI’s youth safety messaging focusses on four key points:

  • STOP AND THINK – what dangers can you see?
  • Don’t be caught out on your own – STAY TOGETHER
  • If you fall in, stay calm and FLOAT TO LIVE
  • If someone’s in trouble, CALL 999 or 112 and tell them that someone’s in trouble in the water


Andrew Laws, RNLI Youth Education Manager for the South East, said, “The RNLI is delighted to be partnering with the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation. Working with another charity to spread water safety messages is a great way to help keep young safe in and near the water. The teaching and resources provided to the young people taking part in the ‘Discover Sailing’ programme could one day save a life.”


For more information about the Andrew Simpson Foundation:


For more information about the RNLI’s Youth Education work:



RNLI media contacts:


Andrew Laws, RNLI Youth Education Manager,


Aaron Gent, Portsmouth RNLI Press Officer, 07947537108,


Key facts about the RNLI


The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.


The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Replace with: The Andrew Simpson Foundation is continuing the legacy of Andrew “Bart” Simpson, an Olympic Champion and America’s Cup Sailor who tragically died in 2013. Andrew passionately believed that everyone should have the chance to try sailing and enjoy the many benefits that it brings.

Absolutely everything the Foundation does is driven by our belief that all young people have the ability to excel and succeed in life and work. We believe that the challenges of Sailing and Watersports do this by promoting health and well-being and building essential personal skills.

ASF provides opportunities for everyone to get out on the water and we do this by delivering a range of key charitable activities, further enabled through fundraising and partnerships.