Did you know that Bournemouth has THE most amazing place where children and adults can learn about safety in a fun and interactive environment? I recently accompanied a tour at Safewise with a lovely group of Sea Scouts to see what they do and I was completely amazed, not only by the amount of areas within the safety village but also the dedication and passion that the volunteers have.
My group safety guide was called Stuart and all the children in our group listened intently and eagerly asked him questions all the way round. We visited the beach where the children donned a life jacket and sat in the boat to talk about the dangers that can occur and then we went off to look at the roadwise circuit. The group loved standing by the roadside which had an actual bus and car on and they talked about road safety and practiced crossing the road safely before heading to the scene of a bicycle crash.
From here we went into the house (yes, it is like an actual house) and went upstairs to what was set up as a bedsit. The children all had to look for dangers and fire hazards like an iron on the floor, cutlery sitting in the microwave, candles by the curtain, fizzy drinks can on the TV and sockets hanging off the wall. Once all the dangers had been found Stuart opened a set of curtains covering a big window and showed us a shocking mirror image of the room and what it would have looked like if all of those dangers had occurred. From here we went down in to the kitchen to look for more dangers and we talked about fire safety and even practised a fire drill when Stuart turned on a little smoke machine. Once the group had shouted ‘Fire, Fire, Fire’ and crawled out on their hands and knees one of the boys made a 999 call in a phone box to report the house fire (all pre-recorded and not real of course).
After spending time in the house we went through an alleyway in to the garden which had a pond and shed with a gnarley dog barking inside! (Again a recording). After discussing the dangers we went to the electricity sub station and railway tracks and they even had the front of a real train which the boys were desperate to get in!
Our last stop for the evening was the internet café which was great for this age group as they were invited to go into a virtual chat room and learn how easy it is to be coaxed into meeting in real life and how the person may not be the person who they think they are.
At the end there was a group round up with the other Sea Scouts and they discussed some of the things they’d learnt in the evening along with the importance of wearing a helmet. Before they left they were given a certificate and because I’d been a good girl I got one too!
There was so much more to see which is why I'll be taking my children to the open day on Wednesday the 15th of February. I know my son won’t fully understand everything but he will have a good idea of most things and I’m very eager to drum road safety in to him. For full details please see the Facebook Event.
If you’d like to know more about Safewise then please head to the Website where you can read all about them plus the tours you can attend and upcoming community events. It really is a wonderful charity which receives no government funding and relies on sponsorship from local services and fundraising events so please support them if you can.
Safewise also operate in Weymouth and during the February Half Term they are offering FREE Bikeability sessions. These sessions are also being held in Bournemouth through the Council, dates can be found on the Website.
Big thank you to Safewise for allowing me to accompany a tour and thank you for everything you do to educate local children on every day dangers.
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