All posts tagged: education

Fire service marks Holocaust Memorial Day

Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service will be hosting a Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) event on January 27th 2015 which this year marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The commemorative ceremony will be held from 10:30am – 12:30am at its safety education centre, SkillZONE in Gloucester on Tuffley Avenue, GL4 0AS.

SkillZONE will be passing a ceramic HMD baton to St Peter’s RC High School which was designed by students from the National Star College. It was created to provide a tangible reminder of the importance of Holocaust Memorial Day.

It is passed to like-minded organisations in Gloucester each year so they can mark the national day.  Together they will reflect on the appalling past events and commit to working together towards a safer and better future.

SkillZONE Manager Donna Potts says; “It is important to us to honour the memory of millions of people murdered in the Holocaust along with the other genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda and Bosnia.

“We are pleased to pass on the baton to St Peter’s RC High School and to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day locally.”

In remembrance of all the victims of the Holocaust and other genocides that have taken place throughout the world, there will be a reading of the Jewish prayer the “Kaddish” followed by a minutes’ silence. St Peter’s High School will also do a performance on the national theme of ‘keeping the memory alive.’


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Free safety lessons offered to 10 year olds

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Primary schools in Gloucestershire are being invited to bring their Year 5 pupils for a free visit to the county’s only safety centre, SkillZONE.

SkillZONE is delighted to be rolling out the offer to all 236 state primary, junior and special schools after a £35,000 initiative was agreed by Gloucestershire County Council to be used in the 2014/15 budget.

The Gloucester centre, which opened just over a year ago, has a mock village that gives groups the chance to experience 16 safety scenarios that enable young people to make decisions about staying safe.

Around a third of primary schools have been to SkillZONE and research has shown that a 2 hour safety tour at the centre is particularly useful to Year 5 pupils as it ties in with their PSHE curriculum.

SkillZONE will be contacting primary schools in five phases over the next three months inviting them to book a free trip for Year 5 students through its online booking system.

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer Stewart Edgar says; “Keeping young people safe and the prevention of accidents and injuries is integral to our role. SkillZONE tackles this by teaching children how to make life-saving decisions whether that’s wearing a seatbelt or how to evacuate from a house fire.”

“I am thrilled we are able to provide these safety lessons to every Year 5 child in Gloucestershire and I believe they will leave us armoured with essential life skills which they can share with their families.”

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, said: “We know that children can gain so much from visiting SkillZONE and it’s great news that more classes could now benefit from its important safety lessons.”

All school groups will be taught about road safety, fire safety and hazards in the home and teachers will be able to choose a further 6 scenarios covering areas such as water safety, an internet cafe, a magistrates court or a shop.

To find out more information about SkillZONE visit


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Celebrating 1 year of keeping Gloucestershire safe

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As Gloucestershire’s only safety education centre celebrates its first official birthday on February 1st 2014 figures show around 100 children a week have visited SkillZONE during the school year.

SkillZONE is a state-of-the-art village which gives people of all ages the chance to experience 16 real life scenarios, each designed to teach them how to recognise a range of dangerous situations such as on the road, in water, at home or online.

Based in Gloucester, the centre’s main visitor is schools with one in three primary schools in the county benefiting from a trip to SkillZONE since it opened.  Another 15,000 local people have attended SkillZONE events or used the building facilities.

To mark its first birthday balloons and cake will be given to Oakridge Primary School and Bisley Blue Coat Primary School on Thursday January 30th after their SkillZONE tour.

Maria Boon, Head of Prevention at Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, said; “We are delighted to reach this milestone and to be providing access to safety education to Gloucestershire.”

“Young people’s safety is at the heart of what we do and although there are more schools and community groups we would like to reach, I believe we are on the right track. If you haven’t been to SkillZONE, please put a date in your diary to come along to our open day on Saturday July 19th2014.”

A visit to SkillZONE with Crudwell Cub Scouts was particularly meaningful for Adam Hanwell, 11, who had recently experienced a house fire. His father Tom Hanwell says; “We came home to six foot flames coming out of the chimney and all the emergency services were there. It was completely alien to my son and he couldn’t understand it.”

“At the end of SkillZONE he knew and respected what the fire fighters and emergency services do. It taught him what to do in an emergency and he wouldn’t be afraid to call for help now. Our scouts valued the trip so much we will come again. “

The centre has also been used for a wide range of community events including Older People’s Month, Gangculture Day, Black History Month, a Women in Islam event, Child Accident Prevention Week and safety courses for young mums.

SkillZONE’s partner, Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership, regularly enjoys using the venue to train drivers. It trains over 12,000 drivers each year and many come through the SkillZONE. Courses run at the centre include seminars for lollipop ladies and men, advance motorcycle riding courses, cyclist training, drivers caught using mobile phones, speed awareness courses and hosting special events such as the launch of its annual Anti Drink Drive Campaign or Road Safety Week. 

Used by all walks of life from clubs like Brownies to the Bangladeshi community, the 2 hours tours on safety in SkillZONE’s village are run by volunteers and Stroud Wardens.

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School Governors Coffee Morning

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SkillZONE is running a School Governors Coffee Morning on Thursday December 19th from 10am -12pm at its Tuffley centre.

It is a chance for governors to learn about Gloucestershire’s only safety education centre and experience the facility first hand.

The FREE event will include a welcome, a tour of the life size village and an opportunity to chat with other governors over a coffee or tea and Christmas mince pie.

SkillZONE is a fully interactive learning environment which teaches school groups and the wider community how to recognise a range of dangerous situations and stay safe.

There are 16 zones in SkillZONE, which cover a range of scenarios including road, rail and water safety, an internet cafe, as well as home and personal safety.  

Places are limited so please email to book.

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