LV= returns as KidZone Beach Safety Sponsor 

Leading UK life and pensions mutual insurer LV=, makes a welcome return this year as the 2024 sponsor of the popular Kidzone summer beach safety scheme run by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council.  The Kidzone initiative, which started in 2007, seeks to protect and reunite lost children or vulnerable adults with their families across the busy coastline throughout the peak summer season. 

This year, LV=KidZone will be running from 1 July – 1 September. 

The scheme provides essential support to the seafront team, working in conjunction with Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Dorset Police. It has reunited thousands of children and vulnerable adults who have become separated from their parents, guardians or carers, as well as aiming to prevent them becoming lost in the first place. 

From the 1 July, visitors will be able to collect free wristbands from all seafront offices and RNLI lifeguard towers across the 15 miles of BCP seafront.

In addition, from 24 July to 1 Sep, the beaches of Bournemouth, Boscombe, Alum and Durley Chine will be staffed by LV=Kidzone operatives who will be distributing wristbands directly to families. 

The child or vulnerable adult’s location, and their parent or guardian’s phone number will then be written onto the band, and if they get separated during the day, staff will be able to reunite them with their friends and family. 

Visitors to the seafront who come across a missing child or person, are advised to report this immediately to a member of the LV=KidZone team, a BCP seafront ranger or RNLI Lifeguard, who will be on hand to help. 

Anthony Rogers, Head of Seafront for BCP Council, said: 

“We welcome up to half a million visitors to our beaches every day over the summer season, and on busy days these wristbands provide enormous peace of mind for families. 

“Over the years, the Kidzone scheme has reunited thousands of children and vulnerable adults who have become separated from their parents, guardians or carers.   

“We are delighted to be running the initiative again this year with LV=, who have partnered with us for many previous years.” 

Kester Sheppard, RNLI Lifeguard Lead Supervisor, said:

“On a busy day, we know that children can disappear from sight very quickly and much of our lifeguards’ work involves reuniting children with their parents or carers. Our teams will be able to hand out wristbands to help keep the family safe, as well as give additional advice on how to have an enjoyable and safe day at the coast.  

 “We would advise visiting a lifeguarded beach and to show your children where our lifeguard unit is as soon you arrive so that they know where to go for help.” 

Chief Superintendent Heather Dixey, BCP and Seasonal Demand Commander for Dorset Police, added:   

“We want people to enjoy visiting our beautiful Dorset beaches, but safety is of paramount importance.  If a child or vulnerable adult goes missing it can be a terrifying experience for all involved. 

“We urge people to report missing children or adults as quickly as possible to enable police, LV=Kidzone Team, Seafront rangers and the RNLI to begin searching for the missing person. 

“It is vital that visitors ensure children and vulnerable adults know who to ask for help should they become separated from their families or carers. The wristbands are an effective way of providing essential information about a person, which can help reunite friends and family as quickly as possible. 

Samantha Preece, Chief Brand and Communications Officer at LV= said:  

“Sponsoring the KidZone beach safety scheme for the 2024 summer season is a great fit for LV=. Part of our commitment as a life and pensions business is to support our local communities. LV= KidZone will help to reunite lost children and vulnerable adults and the scheme will give anyone visiting our local beaches the ability to keep loved ones safe. Please do pick up a free wristband.” 

Over the 17 years since the initiative began, the KidZone team have distributed nearly one million wristbands and reunited more than 3,250 lost children or vulnerable adults with their parents/guardians.