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Ramm appointed MBE in recognition of water safety campaigns

Swim England News

Howard Ramm has been appointed an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his service to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), including the evolution of the Swim Safe programme.

Swim Safe – a joint venture between the RNLI and Swim England is reaching 30,000 children across the UK this summer, educating young people about how to swim safely outdoors.

Ramm, a former Maritime Standards and Performance Manager at the RNLI, was pivotal in creating an emphasis on water-related accident prevention, leading the charity to shift from solely search and rescue, to focus on community safety.

He played an important role in the national drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water, and helped inspire the birth of Swim Safe in 2013.

Ramm said: “I’m absolutely thrilled, you just don’t expect this type of recognition. It really is an honour.

“The work I’ve been involved with during my time with the RNLI has been varied, but I’m so proud to have directly influenced the prevention work of the charity.

“Having been involved with the conception of the Respect the Water campaign and other initiatives in 2013, seeing the messages continue to save lives year after year is a credit to the whole of the RNLI.”

Saving lives

This year, Swim Safe is operating at 37 beach and inland water locations throughout England, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

The free, 60-minute programme, focuses on teaching children what to do if they, or someone else, gets into difficulty in the water.

George Rawlinson, RNLI Operations Director, said: “For Howard to receive this national recognition, it is both richly deserved and reflects well on RNLI volunteers, staff and partners in other organisations he has worked with to reduce drowning.

“Howard’s innovative thinking and leadership has ensured that great ideas have come to fruition to help save lives.”

For more information about the Swim Safe public and school sessions, including how to book, visit the website here.

Eileen Fenton, of Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, was also awarded an MBE, for voluntary service to long distance and competitive swimming coaching.

She was the first woman to complete the first International Channel Race in 1950, completing the arduous swim from France to England in 15 hours and 31 minutes.