The OWEN (Open Water Education Network) programme is a partnership project with L Leisure. It was set up to train ambassadors from schools in the Broxtowe area about the dangers of open water.
Now in its second year the programme has been presenting at assemblies to students at Alderman White, Chilwell and George Spencer Schools. Interested students are then invited to put themselves forward to be ambassadors for the OWEN programme.
Ambassadors Training Day
Following the interview and selection process an Ambassadors Training Day was held at Highfields Fire Station on Thursday 15th February.
The OWEN programme uses interactive learning techniques such as; virtual reality headsets and video content. As well as practical sessions teaching throw lines and mock 999 calls. The ambassador’s role is to educate the community via peer to peer teaching, thereby creating a sustainable and supported network of education.
It’s been recognised that young people are more likely to listen and be receptive to information from their peers. The progamme also uses its own YouTube channel and other specialist platforms. Utlising these different platforms the ambassadors can use the principles of OWEN to educate the community on the dangers of open water. This also includes; awareness of how to spot hazards, how to dial 999, what to say to the emergency services, how to use a throw line and the effects of cold water shock.
These skills are vital to ensure that children and young people are staying safe. The ambassadors role is to help their peers understand what to do if they get into difficulty without going into the water themselves.
Stay dry for Owen always shout, 999, signal, throw – do not go!
- Shout – “are you okay, can you hear me?” acknowledge you have seen them
- Dial 999 – did you know 6-7 people will be listening in on your call and dispatching the help you need? Ensure they are on the way.
- Signal – wave and shout to the person , “I am going to throw you this rope try and hold on so I can tow you back”
- Throw – use a throw line if there is one close by or you can use anything that floats for example a football, milk bottle.
- Never enter the water yourself to help, even if it is for your dog!
Should you find yourself in difficulty lie on your back and float and keep your airways open and let your body adjust to the cold water.
If you’d like further information the OWEN programme please follow OWEN on Twitter..
In memory or our hero Owen Jenkins
Who is OWEN?
Owen Jenkins 26.11.2004 – 10.07.2017
Monday 10th July 2017 was a tragic day. 12-year-old Owen Jenkins from Beeston Rylands went into the water at Beeston Weir and lost his life. He died a hero, having gone in to rescue two girls who were struggling in the strong currents. Owen managed to help the first girl to safety when he went back to save the second girl he was taken by the current and went under the water, the current was too strong, and sadly Owen drowned.