Portfolio

Tom has worked as on a number of high-profile drowning prevention programmes, as a researcher, practitioner and project manager.

He holds a Masters Degree in Public Health in Developing Countries from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and a Bachelors degree in  Geography from Loughborough University.

He has presented a number of conferences including the World Conference on Drowning Prevention 2011 in Vietnam and the South East Asia Public Health Seminar in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He has also chaired the Community and Organisational Development Committee of the Royal Life Saving Society Commonwealth.

In addition to his drowning prevention work, Tom is also chair of the UK branch of the Clouds of Hope HIV/AIDS initiative.

Here are some of his most recent projects:

Tanzania – Developing Aquatic Survival Programme and Pilot

Aquatic Survival Programme

A trainee teacher delivers the Water Safety Messages to students in a classroom in rural Zanzibar

Tom coordinated and worked with a UK stakeholder group to develop and design Aquatic Survival Programme for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. The programme contains a community module consisting of ‘Key Water Safety Messages’ specifically developed for the low-resource environment, and a practical survival swimming module that can be taught in rivers, ponds or the ocean.

IMGP0951

Children learn survival swimming using the Aquatic Survival Programme

Tom liaised with a Tanzanian NGO to successfully pilot the programme in Zanzibar, Tanzania.  During a two week period the train-the-trainer programme was delivered to 10 community educators and 5 swimming instructors. Over 2,300 children were given water safety education in local schools, and 30 children were taught how to swim.

India – RLSS India/ International Development through Sport/ Speedo programme

Tom and a colleague assess a possible swimming venue for the programme

Tom and a colleague assess a possible swimming venue for the programme in Kerala, India

Tom gave technical assistance to an IDS/Speedo scoping team implementing a drowning prevention initiative with RLSS India. He is currently assisting in developing the monitoring and evaluation tools and reports for the programme.

Bangladesh – International Lifeguard Manual and Pilot

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Trainees in Bangladesh set up patrol for the day on Cox’s Bazar beach.

Tom worked with the Centre for Injury Prevention and Research Bangladesh (CIPRB) to develop, author and pilot the International Beach Lifeguard Manual. The programme was funded by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), and piloted with support of the Cox’s Bazar Lifesaving and Surfing Club.

Bangladesh – Research Fellowship

Students in Raigonj, Bangladesh learn CPR on the First Responder program

Students in Raigonj, Bangladesh learn CPR on the First Responder program

Tom undertook an AusAID funded research fellowship with the International Drowning Research Centre (part of the Centre for Injury Prevention and Research Bangladesh).  Based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Tom was part of a world renowned team undertaking research into drowning prevention interventions specifically designed for low-resource settings.

As part of his research Tom developed and authored the IDRCB First Responder manual which was subsequently used to give training to over 2,500 rural community members in Raigonj province in CPR and First Aid. The training was part of a long-term study into the feasibility of implementing a CPR training programme in a low-income country.

Tom also developed and analysed large community surveys (of 15,000 children) to determine whether teaching children how to swim could increase their risk taking behaviour, and the frequency of water rescues.

He has a number of research papers currently undergoing peer review.

Sudan – Nile Swimmers

Participants of the Nile Swimmers Project prepare to practice rescue skills

Participants of the Nile Swimmers Project prepare to practice rescue skills

Tom is a founder and trustee of Nile Swimmers, in Sudan. Working in cooperation with the Sudanese Sea Scouts, the aim of Nile Swimmers is to keep communities safe around water. This is done by providing lifesaving and swimming training, and sharing understanding about locally applicable drowning prevention interventions.

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