Today The Rotherham Current has joined forces with the parents of a teenage boy who drowned in May, in a bid to force the council to install proper safety signs at open water spots.
We are launching Sign Up For Sam, a campaign which aims to petition Rotherham council for proper signage at open water spots, with a goal to reach 5,000 signatures in five weeks.
Backed by Sam’s grieving family members, politicians, and celebrities – we are now calling on all our readers to join us in our plight and support our mission.
Sam’s dad, Simon Haycock, said: “We, as a family, are absolutely overwhelmed by the support and we are truly grateful.
“I never want a parent to feel the pain we felt that day. It’s time to make change and it needs to be now.
“We have a reason to carry on and to fight for what’s right and in Sam’s memory we hopefully will achieve this.”
Sam was a “cheeky chappy” with an “infectious smile” and an aspiring judo athlete who competed all over the world. He won 22 gold medals for his efforts and had a ‘promising’ future.
Legendary footballer and local lad David Seaman has backed the campaign and offered his support for our mission.
Rotherham MP Sarah Champion has also supported our cause, she said: “Sam’s young life, and his promising future, have been cut appallingly short.
“I am committed to doing everything I can to support his parents’ campaign to prevent similar needless deaths.”
Sign Up For Sam also received support from Rotherham United Football Club, who agreed to donate a signed shirt to the cause.
Jamie Noble, Head of Community at Rotherham United, said: “Rotherham United are really proud to support the campaign, as a club we want to keep local people safe and raise awareness about the dangers of unattended swimming.
Editor-in-Chief of The Rotherham Current, Kerry Violet, said: “Our campaign is so important for Rotherham and South Yorkshire and we need the help of its residents to create change.
“We want to make our natural beauty spots safer so that children can enjoy them and parents can feel at ease.”
You can find our petition here.