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River and Sea Sense

1043. Debbie Turnbull

Debbie Turnbull, from Flintshire, founded the non-profit organisation 'River and Sea Sense' following the death of her son Christopher who drowned in 2006.

Debbie Turnbull

Since then Debbie has educated over 300,000 children and adults in Wales and beyond on the importance of water safety. Debbie organises basic first aid and CPR training with the ‘Royal Life Saving Society’ targeting secondary school children who account for one of the most at risk age ranges in drowning deaths. She is an ambassador for the ‘Royal National Lifeboat Institution’ and in 2017 Bear Grylls presented her with a Special Achievement Award from the National Lottery Awards.

Debbie was presented with her award by her local MP David Hanson (pictured below).

Debbie Turnbull with David Hanson

In a personal letter to Debbie, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“You have responded to the most heart-breaking personal tragedy by creating an inspirational educational programme in memory of your son Christopher. As a result of your tireless work, a generation of young people are learning about the importance of water safety.”

David Hanson, MP for Delyn, said:

“It’s a tremendous achievement for Debbie to be recognised in this way and a great tribute to the work she has done to raise awareness of the importance of water safety. Following the loss of own her son she has, by her efforts, helped save lives – Holywell will be proud of her today.”

Debbie said:

“I am thrilled to receive this special award from our Prime Minister Theresa May for the work that I have done on a voluntary basis – I work with Water Safety professionals now on a national basis speaking at events and am looking forward to the set up of new projects in 2019.”

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