Volunteer to be a safety hero

Volunteer Stu Slatter

SkillZONE is calling for more volunteers to join its centre this New Year to help make a difference to the lives of young people by teaching them to stay safe.

Run through Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service and Gloucestershire County Council, SkillZONE is a state- of- the- art building in Gloucester with a life-size street scene inside.

School groups, clubs and the wider community identify danger in nine different situations such as hazards in the home, cyber bullying, crossing a road and how to evacuate from a fire.

SkillZONE’s Volunteer Manager, Will Knight, says; “Most people make New Year’s resolutions to do something positive and we really hope this year they will consider helping to keep their local community safe at our unique centre.”

“Our tours empower young people to make safe decisions for themselves in everyday life such as what to do if they burn themselves or how to react if someone tries to steal their wallet or phone.”

Retired Gloucester firefighter Stu Slatter says of volunteering; “I enjoy talking to people and it funneled some of the skills I already had when I retired.

“It is a real sense of achievement getting the thank-you from the kids and seeing how much they enjoyed it. They come in quite innocent and I think they leave knowing about danger and they will look out for others as well.”

Volunteer Jo Elliot of Stroud adds; “It is such an exciting environment even though the message is serious and getting these good safety messages to children is a really positive thing.

“The team has been really supportive and I like that the dates you volunteer are so flexible.”

Volunteer guides are needed to lead groups on a 2 hour tour around the village scenarios and to encourage children to identify various dangers from a dark alleyway to a building site.

Candidates come from all walks of life and are only required to give a minimum of two days per month. In return volunteers will receive training such as in First Aid and Equality and Diversity, and become a valued member of the SkillZONE team.

To find out more about SkillZONE or volunteering, visit websitedesignbristol.co/Skillz/volunteer email volunteer@glosfire.gov.uk or phone 01452 834 150.