A brand new film-set style learning facility in South Yorkshire has opened its doors to hundreds of school children for the first time.

The new Lifewise centre in Hellaby, Rotherham will see thousands of the county's school children learn vital life skills, including fire, road and personal safety tips.

Older people will also visit the centre as part of the new 'Get Lifewise' course, which aims to equip the county's older citizens with the key safety information they need to stay safe in later life.

Lifewise is a life-size film set of a small town which is used to deliver safety messages to the public. It has been built in a unique partnership between South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership.

The new facility replaces Lifewise's previous site near Magna, Rotherham which closed earlier this year. The Hellaby centre cost £215,000, with more than £200,000 in goods and services donated to the project by local businesses and the community.

The new centre's larger size means it will now become home to members of the South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and South Yorkshire Police community safety teams, allowing them to work in partnership under one roof for the first time.

The new site also offers greater revenue raising opportunities in the future, increasing the sustainability of the centre long term compared to the old site.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue's Head of Community Safety Phil Shilito said: "Lifewise is our flagship learning centre for delivering our fire and road safety educational programmes. We've worked very closely with the community, police and other partners to create a learning space which will more than pay for itself in terms of keeping young people safe and reducing future crime and emergency incidents."

Head of Community Safety for South Yorkshire Police, Superintendant Eddie Murphy, said: "It became clear that some work needed to be done on the old Lifewise building and we saw this as an opportunity to put the money we would have spent on repairs to good use by creating a brand new centre. The result is that we can now deliver so much more in one place."

Lifewise's flagship education programme 'Crucial Crew' began last week, with 400 Barnsley school children  taken through a scenario-based learning programme to learn about anti-social behaviour, fire safety, arson, road safety, first aid and safe travel on buses.

Each year every South Yorkshire school is invited to attend Crucial Crew and the scenarios are delivered by partners local to the school.


Posted October 10th, 2011 at 0935 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: andrew.lynch@pavpub.com