A mother from Flintshire who founded an organisation educating people about water safety following the tragic death of her own son has been honoured by Theresa May.
Debbie Turnbull from Holywell started ‘River and Sea Sense’ as a ‘positive response’ to the death of her 15-year-old son Christopher who drowned at Capel Curig in 2006.
Since then Debbie has educated over 300,000 children and adults in Wales and beyond on the importance of water safety.
Debbie organises water safety workshops and events including CPR training with support from 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’ Swim Safe programme in North Wales and in 2017 Bear Grylls presented her with a Special Achievement Award from the National Lottery Awards.
Debbie is the latest recipient of the prime minister’s Points of Light award, which recognises outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.
In a personal letter to Debbie, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “You have responded to the most heartbreaking 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 she was 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.”
You can find out more about River and Sea Sense here: www.riverandseasense.com