What is Sign up for Sam?

On May 28 the Haycock family was changed forever. 16-year-old Sam Haycock left his home for his last day of secondary school and should have been back at home by 4pm. He sadly never made it back. After school, he and a few friends decided to celebrate finishing Year 11 by taking a swim in the Ulley Reservoir. Sam got caught up in the current and tragically lost his life.


But, this issue goes further than the Ulley Country Park. All around the country there are similar places where people can just as easily lose their lives. That needs to change. We are teaming up with the campaign group ‘Sam’s Army’, set up by Sam’s parents and friends, to spread the word as far as possible and make change happen. We want South Yorkshire to be a safe place, where everybody knows the risk before they enter the water, and are reminded of them with clear signage to ensure what happened to Sam doesn’t happen again.

Sam’s parents and friends decided that he was not going to be another statistic. They wanted to use Sam’s story to enact change and make people aware of the dangers of inland swimming. We want to help them too. The Ulley Reservoir is very popular amongst swimmers, walkers and picnic-goers and we don’t want to have to report that another person has drowned in the Reservoir.

Who was Sam?

Where do we start when it comes to Sam, Sam was a bubbly cheeky happy go lucky 16- year-old with the best personality and was loved by everyone he made contact with. He has beautiful blue eyes and the most infectious smile, a smile that everyone remembers, everyone who ever crossed paths with Sam comments on his politeness, his manners and how he had the time of day for anyone.

Sam was a very sociable lad with many many friends in the Rotherham area he didn’t just have one friendship group he had lots. Sam was an aspiring judo athlete training at Miramar Judo Club and traveled the world competing in many competitions winning two bronze, 17 silver and 22 gold medals alongside representing Great Britain’s Adaptive Judo Club alongside his big brother Mikey who is a world champion.

Sam was a typical cheeky teenager who loved his family and friends and anyone whoever crossed Sam’s path will tell you the same. – Simon Haycock, Sam’s dad

What do we hope to achieve?

  • Getting more signage of swimming in the reservoir and the (invisible) dangers it has.
  • Getting as much awareness as we can, making sure as many people know about the reservoir. Especially local people and people who have the power to make a change.
  • To ensure that everybody knows the risks and dangers of inland swimming to ensure that Sam isn’t just a statistic but a shining beacon of change.


 Who are we backed by?

 Rotherham MP Sarah Champion: “Sam’s young life, and his promising future, have been cut appallingly short. I am committed to   doing everything I can to support his parent’s campaign to prevent similar needless deaths.”

 David Seaman. The legendary footballer and local lad has thrown his weight behind Sign Up for Sam.

 Rotherham United Football Club.  Jamie Noble, Head of Community at the club, 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.”