The Duchess of Gloucester was in Rotherham this week to officially open a new Lifewise Centre where South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and Police will work with local people to improve the community.

Fire and police chiefs said they were "honoured" to welcome Her Royal Highness to the centre where she experienced a number of initiatives that are run from Lifewise before unveiling a plaque and announcing the centre officially open.

Accompanied by Superintendent Eddie Murphy from the South Yorkshire Police Community Safety Department, the Duchess met with a range of representatives including Chief Constable David Crompton, Chief Fire Officer James Courtney, South Yorkshire Young Leaders, In2Change and a range of staff based at Lifewise.

Diane Malpass, SYFR head of community safety, said: "This visit was all about recognising the hard work of both organisation's many dedicated staff and volunteers who helped to make this centre a reality. Lifewise will remain the cornerstone of our efforts provide free safety education to every school pupil in South Yorkshire for many years to come."

As part of the interactive Lifewise set, the Duchess experienced a range of the initiatives run from the centre, including road safety, digital inclusion, fire safety and the dangers of becoming a young offender.

Based in Hellaby, Rotherham, Lifewise first opened in September 2011 and during the past year over 41,000 people have visited the centre. Developed by South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, Lifewise is an interactive learning resource for South Yorkshire communities.

The centre features a purpose-built set that is used to educate visitors about safety and citizenship with the ultimate aim of reducing crime and improving quality of life.

Superintendent Eddie Murphy concluded: "It was a great honour to welcome Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Gloucester into Lifewise. The centre is at the core of community safety activity across South Yorkshire and the Royal opening of the centre is a sign of just how key the Lifewise Centre is to keeping South Yorkshire residents safe."

Posted 12/09/2012 by