Thank you!
Thank you to everyone who joined us and for your continued support over the 2022 season. We had an amazing response to our end of season survey; we’ve now had the chance to pull together a summary as well as outline some of the changes we plan to implement for the coming season(s).

Cost of Living & Pay
We are keenly aware of the current financial situation and the impact it is having on people’s ability to attend events, and in particular travel. We are reviewing all event budgets with clients, and everyone appreciates the increasing costs/inflation. Events are being reviewed on a case by case basis and we will always do what we can to work with organisers for fair and reasonable pay.

As always, event pay will be shown on the system when registration opens, so you’ll be able to see this prior to signing up and committing. Please remember to only sign up to events that you are comfortable with in regard to travel and time.

Lift Sharing – we know many of you already do this and it’s been great to see. However, from the feedback, we can see that there are many more of you that would like to do so but are unclear on how the current lift sharing facility works. We will therefore be reviewing the process and trying to remove any barriers to entry. Throughout the season, we will continue to encourage the use of the lift sharing facility on the registration system and will be including direct links to it on the event final details to try and encourage as many people as possible to take it up.

Sustainability
Last year we announced our multi-pronged sustainability plan and we’re pleased to say that we have managed to meet all of our aims and we will continue build on the success.

We’re pleased to share with you a summary of what we were able to achieve over the 2022 season and what we’ve been working on over the winter with a view to expanding this into the 2023 season:

        • One Use Plastic: we were able to provide refill stations or access to drinking water taps/bowsers at all of our events in 2022, and we will be continuing to ensure this in 2023 with both our new and existing clients.
          Don’t forget to check out our staff store for branded bottles amongst other kit: https://swimsafety.direct/category/staff-store/
          We are aware, there is still some (unavoidable) use of plastic bottles at events, but we’re working hard to minimise this as much as possible.
        • Making Invoices Digital: we hope you all found it easier to email in your payment forms/invoices; we definitely saved a few trees! We will be looking at taking this a step further this year, and looking at the feasibility of you being able to upload invoices directly to the registration system (for those that wish to).
        • Lift Sharing: as mentioned earlier, lift sharing is something we are keen to see being used more amongst the team. Not only does it help combat the current cost of travel, but massively cuts down an events carbon footprint.
        • Recycling Polyprop: we announced last year that we were incredibly happy to discover that our favourite blue rope was finally recyclable. Over the winter we’ve been working with a company to repurpose off the polyprop used in 2022 and we’ll be bringing you an exciting announcement in the coming weeks!
        • Carbon Offsetting: is something that we started doing in 2021, and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future. As yet, we haven’t selected a project to support in 2023, but we will announce this in due course.
        • Improved Efficiency: we committed to refreshing our fleet of vehicles and engines to ensure we are as fuel-efficient as possible. Over the last 12 months we have replaced 50% of our engine stock and all of our company vans.
          Going Electric – during winter 2022 we began testing electric outboards to great success and we will be aiming to roll these engines out to a range of appropriate events during the 2023 season.

Welfare & Accommodation
We are acutely aware of the importance of adequate welfare facilities and F&B. We are conscious of the fact that during 2022, there was a degree of inconsistency across events and the provisions did not always meet the standards we’d expect. This has been raised with clients on an individual basis and we will be playing our part to ensure that the experience you have is consistent across all events, as far as possible. A big part of our challenge is reinforcing with organisers just how important this is, and really battling for what’s needed. We’ll continue to do this, and event managers have been tasked with ensuring it’s a top priority over this summer – as ultimately, we know, if we look after you guys, you look after us by doing a great job out on the water.

While many of the events we cover offer either hotel accommodation or camping facilities, unfortunately it is not possible for this to happen at every event. Many of you expressed your willingness to travel to events further afield if camping was available, therefore we will continue to work with clients to try and arrange facilities on-site and where this is not possible, direct you to the nearest site where we will aim to arrange preferential rates and/or see if they can be covered or subsidised.

Training Days
It’s always great to receive positive feedback about our training days, however it’s equally important to us to hear your feedback on what we can change/do better and what other training/sessions you’d like us to offer.

Lots of you expressed a willingness to attend our pre-season training days, but travel distance was a barrier to attendance, therefore in 2023, we have decided to roll out a South, Midlands and North training day to better spread them across the country. We will also be adding the radio protocols and kayak team leader sessions back in. Full details about the training days will be sent out in the coming weeks.

First Aid – it’s great to see so many of you keen to gain/refresh your first aid qualification. While we’d like to be able to offer this at all of the training days, this isn’t always feasible, however we are looking into facilitating courses with an external provider based on the level of interest we’ve had.

Staff Portal
Introduced during 2022, the Staff Portal is a hub of information containing everything you need to know about working for us and how we operate. It is something we continued to grow throughout last year and plan to continue adding useful information onto it.. It will be the home of important articles and announcements, so you will see us signposting you in its direction

New for 2023
In a change for the 2023 season, we will be looking into incorporating a real time feedback form into the registration system for the first time. This is to allow you to submit feedback during the season while it’s fresh in your minds and avoid having to wait until the survey is released. This is where we will be encouraging you to submit any event specific feedback that you weren’t able to discuss with our event managers with the view that we will be able to start resolving/tackling any issues that arise during the season as opposed to waiting for 2024. We can only fix what we know about, and your feedback is really important to us

We’ll also be incorporating and testing an equipment fault logging facility, particularly for rescue boat crews. We’re committed to ensuring our kit is in the best condition possible and fit for purpose and the only way we can do this is to know about any and all issues or faults. In the past, reporting of these issues has been managed verbally which on occasion has let things slip though the net, or insufficient detail or information being available to enable us to resolve the issue once back at base. Our hope with this feature is that we will be able to eliminate that slippage and be able to resolve far more if not all of the equipment issues before they escalate.

Event Specific Feedback
As always, thank you for submitting this. It does not get captured here in our season review, however it is super helpful to our team when they debrief with clients over the winter and when planning for the following season, hopefully ensuring that any issues and suggestions are actioned