SkillZONE celebrates two years of safety advice success

St Paul's Primary school learning about Road Safety

Gloucester education centre SkillZONE celebrated championing its safety lessons to almost 15,000 visitors when it turned two years old on February 1st.

The newest safety centre in the country has a fun interactive village where groups experience realistic dangerous scenarios in a number of different locations during a two hour tour.

Since opening its doors SkillZONE has given safety tours to thousands of young people and welcomed more than 375 schools from across the county.

The number of visitors is on the up as well with the centre hosting 2,000 more visitors this year than last year.

It has also run a range of training courses for the local community including advanced motorcycle training, cycle training, first aid, speed awareness, cyber safety and school crossing patrols.

As well as training it has also been used to host a wide variety of events such as the Anti Drink Drive campaign launch, Older Peoples Month and earlier this week a Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony.

SkillZONE has seen an increase in primary school trips in its second year due to Gloucestershire County Council funding free safety tours for Year 5 pupils.

From this funding 2,623 pupils from 144 primary schools have benefited from lessons on road, home and fire safety along with a range of other scenarios such as how to stay safe at the beach or when using a bus.

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, said: “I’m delighted that our county’s only safety centre has gone from strength to strength in the past two years. I encourage more schools and community groups to visit this excellent facility and learn about the life saving lessons that it can offer.”

SkillZONE manager Donna Potts said: “I believe we have made a significant difference to the safety of young people and their families since opening. It is always rewarding to hear how the visitors learn from volunteers during a tour.

“I’m proud that we are using volunteers from the local community to keep the people of Gloucestershire safe.”

In a survey of 120 Year 5 primary teachers in Gloucestershire, 82% said their pupils would be safer ‘to a great extent’ following their visit, 95% per cent said they were ‘very satisfied’ with their experience and 91% said they would ‘definitely’ visit again.