Qualified lifesaving can now be carried out at one of Falmouth's beaches all year round thanks to the efforts of a group of volunteers.

Members of Gyllyngvase Surf Life Saving Club have gained national lifeguard qualifications that means they will be able to deliver lifesaving beach patrol service during off-peak periods, such as evenings, weekdays and out of season.

They regularly volunteer their rescue, first aid, and life support skills to makes sure that everyone using the sea is as safe as possible, by patrolling the beach and giving help to those in danger when needed.

This summer, 37 club members took their training to the next level and achieved their National Vocational Beach Lifeguard Qualification (NVBLQ), which is a national standard for beach lifeguarding, endorsed by the National Water Safety Forum and the RNLI.

The NVBLQ covers all elements of beach lifeguard theory, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), first aid, pool skills, and open water skills.

The course, which club members successfully completed, is physically demanding and requires a high level of dedication to meet the qualification criteria.

Alice Lord, vice-chair of Gyllyngvase Surf Life Saving Club, said: "We started off doing patrols last summer when the RNLI couldn't be on the beach because of Covid.

"We have volunteers down there who are qualified lifeguards, who've done their lifeguard award through the club, and they set up on the beach and give advice to people about going in the water, conditions, and general safety.”

This wrap-around service ensures that some of Cornwall’s hotspots, such as Gyllyngvase Beach in Falmouth, remain manned when the RNLI service isn’t operating.

Gyllyngvase Surf Life Saving Club or ‘Gylly’ for short, was created by a small group of people in October 2008, with an interest in teaching their life saving skills to the local community. They also had a passion for the fitness that goes alongside surf life saving, and sports that relate closely to it.

Since then membership has grown, with volunteers of all ages now getting involved.

Through training with the club, people learn how to save lives in the sea and qualified they can volunteer on local beaches in the summer seasons with the RNLI Lifeguard service or off-peak with the club.