Monday, June 5, 2017

Volunteer Week 2017 – saying thank you to Open Water Rescue

The annual volunteer week recognises the incredible work of volunteers across our community. On and between 1-7 June, we will be focusing on some of the individuals who make up our large, dedicated army of aquatics volunteers and thanking them for all their hard work.

As well as our fantastic army of individuals, Scottish Swimming works with volunteer organisations and today we shine a spotlight on Open Water Rescue, who were busy all weekend at Knockburn Sports Loch, Aberdeenshire and then Lochore Meadows in Fife. Open Water Rescue provide safety cover at open water events and deliver drowning prevention education to the public by providing information and training in; lifesaving, life support, water safety, resuscitation and first aid, through participation in the Award schemes of the Royal Life Saving Society United Kingdom (RLSS UK) (

Mark McKay – Founding Member of Open Water Rescue

So how long have you been volunteering with open water rescue?

Since it started I am actually one of the founding members of the group. I’d been volunteering in a water safety role before that so it’s been around 25 years in total.

How much time is involved?

There’s an element of spending time almost every day when you are a founding member of a group but now during the summer it is most weekends and very little in the winter.

What sort of skills can people gain?

There are different skills for different age groups. As a youngster, life skills and communication are important. It helps to develop personal confidence, speaking to people you do not know perhaps from a different social group or skill group. The really good thing about voluntary groups is you get a really broad range of people with different skills. It’s a chance to network and if you enjoy volunteering with one group the chances are you may end up volunteering for another group.


Linda McCracken – New volunteer with open water rescue

So how did you get in volunteering?

It was recognising I had free time and skills that I had built up all of my life. Rather than doing 9 till 5 in an office job I wanted to get out and about and do something good too.

What skills does this role give you?

It gives you confidence and life skills as well as more specific skills such as first aid or  technical aspects around the safety boat. It keeps the grey matter ticking over and you meet lots of new people too.

How long have you been volunteering with open water rescue?

This is my first event and I’ve really enjoyed it.

We’d like to say a big thank you to our friends at Open Water Rescue and all our volunteers across the aquatics community for the magnificent work they do and their continued contribution to support our sport and help drive it forward.

For more information about volunteering in clubs please visit:

For more information about volunteering in general please visit: