South Shields Volunteer Lifeguard Club was founded in 1961 by 5 local people with the aim to turn all bystanders into lifesavers, to this day we still follow this.
The club is now based at Boldon CA and Mowbray Lifeguard Station on Sandhaven Beach, South Shields.
We offer training and qualifications in Rookie, Lifesaving, Lifeguarding and community outreach awards. Alongside this we work closely with RLSS UK's Northumberland and Durham branch to deliver water safety advice to our local community.
In 2021 we celebrated our 60th anniversary with 60 miles in 60 days for 60 years. All past and present members were invited to take part and could cover their miles in any way they wanted. The challenge was celebrated with our whole lifeguard family coming together to celebrate the final mile together along the beach and finished with a dip in the sea and a picnic on the beach.
In 2016 we celebrated our 55th anniversary with Pledge55. Pledge55 was about our members and the club pledging to complete challenges throughout the year, from completing 55 awards, gaining 55 new members to personal challenges such as educating 55 people about the dangers of open water or taking part in our 24 hour swimmathon. As part of our fundraising efforts we have purchased our very own Perry Man, the RLSS UK Mascot costume. He attends all events in order to help us raise the profile of the club.
In 2017 we were awarded the Clive Holland Trophy from The Royal Lifesaving Society UK for being The Club Of The Year for 2016, this was a very special honour and 7 members and leaders from the club went to The Guildhall in London for the honours ceremony to collect personal awards and the club award.
The club was originally formed as a beach lifeguard unit and the members competed in the National Lifesaving championships and achieved the title of Ladies National Champions in 1968 at the first ever Championships. In 1977 members of the club set up a Junior Lifeguard section to encourage youngsters to get involved and learn what to do in an emergency. This section of the club became our Rookie section. The formation of our Rookie section enabled the club to teach people from 5 years and over.
With the development of RLSS UK's award program our club also began to offer the different ranges of awards and qualifications. We can now train people in all areas of the RLSS award structures from grass roots level to Trainer Assessor.
All of our leaders are volunteers and give their time each week to help us achieve our aim. Without our fabulous team we wouldn't be in the position we are today and we are very grateful to every person who gets involved.
We are proud to have a fantastic team of members and parents involved in our club. We strongly believe in our club ethos that we are a family and if you would like to join in please contact us or come along to one of our sessions.
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In May 2019 Leigh Mason and Trent Maxwell officially took up their roles as our Ambassadors of SSVLG. In August 2018 as part of their RLSS UK tour Leigh and Trent visited us and a lifelong friendship was started. In January 2019 we started working with Live Learn Survive and created the beginning of their May 2019 tour.
Leigh has been involved in lifesaving from a young age and Trent is the youngest ever Lifeguard to patrol Bondi Beach. Their commitment to educating and saving lives to drowning matches our vision to turn more bystanders into lifesavers and together we hope to reach even more people to spread the awareness.
We look forward to our future working together and can't wait to see what the future brings.
Late in 2019 we took delivery of our brand new club mascot called Belle. Belle Bennett is one of our founders and we thought that as we near our 60th anniversary we wanted to honour and remember her. Belle the mascot was in production for 3 months and she finally arrived in late December 2019.
Belle will appear at club events alongside Perry Man. Belle has a typical red and yellow uniform but will be dressed to impress in different uniforms depending on the occasion she is there for.