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Steering Group Team

Carlene McAvoy

Carlene McAvoy

Carlene McAvoy is RoSPA’s Leisure Safety Manager who is currently working on the promotion and delivery of RoSPA’s water and leisure safety programme for the UK. 

Carlene is the founder and secretariat to Water Safety Scotland, and co-author of Scotland’s Drowning Prevention Strategy. Carlene also co-created the Drowning and Incident Review (DIR) with SFRS, and recently published research into DIR in BMJ Injury Prevention. Carlene recently completed the World Health Organizations (WHO) Mentor VIP programme and is an Honorary fellow for the George Institute for Global Health.

Emma Dudley is Water Safety Development Manager with RoSPA.

Emma joined WSS in March 2024 as Water Safety Development Manager. In this role Emma supports Water Safety Scotland full-time and is a member of the Steering Group. Emma joins the team after completing a master’s degree in Sociology (Urban Studies) from Goldsmiths College, University of London. Through this course she took a particular interest in subject areas such as Urban green and blue spaces. Emma has also been a lifeguard for ten years and has worked at several different pools across Scotland and England. Water has always been an integral part of her life.

James Sullivan

James Sullivan

James Sullivan is a Station Commander and lead officer in the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service’s National Water Safety Project.

James is the Chair of Water Safety Scotland, a role that he took up in 2023 after previously being a member of the WSS Steering Group. James joined SFRS in 2008 and in addition to firefighting roles has been a member of the Swift Water Rescue Teams in Perth and Glasgow. James wrote and implemented the Partnership Approach to Water Safety (PAWS) model and co-created the associated Drowning and Incident Review (DIR) process with Carlene

Donald MacKay is a Sergeant with Police Scotland

Having been brought up in the Highlands, Donald has a love for Scotland’s outdoors including its waters. Donald is an ASA qualified swim teacher and formerly an RLSS Pool Lifeguard of 6 years prior to joining the Police. He is passionate about Police Scotland’s partnership with Water Safety Scotland and aims to keep our waters safe by raising awareness and educating appropriately.

Leigh Hamilton

Leigh Hamilton

Leigh Hamilton, Ranger Service Manager, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority.

Leigh joined the National Park in 2010 and spent 4 years with the boat team on Loch Lomond promoting safe and responsible navigation, raising awareness of water safety and enforcing the Loch Lomond Byelaws where necessary. Leigh is a commercially endorsed advanced powerboat skipper.  As Ranger Manager she currently leads a team of 5 Ranger Team Leaders, 13 permanent Rangers and a cohort of up to 50 Seasonal Rangers throughout the months April – September each year.  Leigh is the water safety lead for Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, leading the project since 2019. With advice from Rospa Leigh developed a water safety policy and created a suite of visitor risk assessments to inform where water safety signage and public rescue equipment was required.  Working with James Sullivan from 2021, Leigh has been an active member of the local PAWS groups in West Dunbartonshire, Stirling and A&B, recently taking on the role of Chair at A&B PAWS.  In 2023 Leigh became a member of WSS Steering group.

Jill Hepburn is Head of Region (Scotland) for the RNLI.

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