PRESS RELEASE 15/10/21 – TEN years after her 13-year-old son drowned in a Lancashire quarry a bereaved mother has launched a charity in his name.
Beckie Ramsay has spent the years since her son Dylan died campaigning for greater awareness around water safety and particularly open water swimming.
She has spoken in schools, colleges, universities and meetings all around the country and presented to more than 180,000 children.
Beckie was awarded the British Empire Medal for her work and has won a raft of awards locally, regionally and nationally.
Now – on the eve of what would have been Dylan’s 24th birthday – the one-woman campaign becomes a charity as the Chorley mum launches her new charity Doing it for Dylan.
This will be able to support individual families, help fund counselling and therapy and create learning material and information packs for schools. It has set an initial fundraising target of £250,000 to fund three years of operations
Its first patron is former Olympic swimmer and TV star Sharron Davies and its committee includes David Walker, who leads the drowning prevention programme at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. The charity’s advisory board numbers a wealth of leading safety experts.
Dylan, a pupil at Parklands High School in Chorley, was a talented athlete – “a strong lad and a very capable swimmer,” stated his mum.
But when he and two friends went swimming in Hill Top Quarry in Whittle-le-Woods one hot July Sunday, he got into trouble.
“They had been in the water for around 20 minutes, swimming around as hundreds of young lads do every single year,” said Beckie.
Dylan shouted for help and one friend called 999. A group of men planning on diving there, saw his distress and ran down the hill, stripping off their clothes as they went, to help Dylan.
One pulled Dylan onto a small island in the quarry and started to perform CPR until the emergency services arrived.
But they were all too late. After having been under the water for just three minutes, Dylan was pronounced dead.
“When I walked into that mortuary and saw my beautiful first-born son lifeless, not breathing, not moving just looking perfect, I could not hold myself together,” said Beckie.
“I hugged his chest and held him so tight. I sobbed and begged him to come back to us. I told him right there and then that I would not let his death be in vain.”
Beckie learned everything she could about drowning prevention and began a solo, self-funded safety campaign to help prevent other families going through such a harrowing experience.
Commented Sharron Davies: “Swimming is the most amazing sport that can be a life-saver and fun for all the family from cradle to grave. But, we have to respect the water and understand that terrible things can happen when we least expect them.
“Doing it for Dylan is a wonderful charity, raising awareness and helping with constructive ways so we can make sure everyone is more aware of water safety.”
For more information about Doing it for Dylan call 077122 61856.
- The Doing it for Dylan charity board of trustees comprises businesswoman Suzy Orr (chairperson), head-teacher Ashley Clayton, chartered accountant Pam Duxbury, IT expert Darren Bentham, retired firefighter/ water safety adviser Gary Willoughby and fundraiser Rachel Savchenko.
- The advisory board is David Walker from RoSPA, National Water Safety Forum chair Dawn Whittaker, Swift Water technician Tommy Richardson, thermoregulation expert Prof Mike Tipton and psychologist and scientist Dr Jenny Smith.