Join Mae in helping children learn valuable lessons for life

September 05 2019
Join Mae in helping children learn valuable lessons for life

A FISHPONDS woman is backing an urgent drive to recruit more volunteers to teach children how to stay safe.

Mae Simpson became a volunteer at the Lifeskills Safety Education Centre as a student and has found the work rewarding and fun.

Now she is encouraging others to attend a taster session at the Cumberland-Basin-based centre for potential volunteers to find out more.

The Lifeskills village, which is not normally open to the public, is like a huge film set with 19 different “scenarios”. Children visit with their Year 6 class and are taken round the centre in groups of 3-4, accompanied by volunteer guides, like Mae.

The centre is so busy it needs to recruit more volunteers to ensure as many children as possible can access the centre.

Mae said: “I’m really grateful to everyone at Lifeskills for giving me the opportunity to be involved with the great work. I began volunteering because of my college course and I genuinely enjoy it. I have learned so much from the friendly guides.”

General manager Andy Townsend  said: “We could not operate the centre without our dedicated team of volunteers. We know what we here do makes a difference and saves lives; one child helped his family escape a house fire, another prevented a gas explosion, and a boy knew how to make a 999 call to help his mother – all skills learnt at Lifeskills.”

Lifeskills teaches 10 and 11 year old school children how to spot hazards and stay safe. During their visit the children experience practising emergency 999 calls, discovering and reacting to a house fire, carrying out first aid and experiencing the consequences of trespassing on a railway line – all made  realistic with the use of light, sound and wind effects.

More than 12,000 school children visit the centre each year but with more volunteers even more children could learn life-saving skills. Every day in the region at least 80 children attend a hospital A&E department, many of which could be prevented.

Lifeskills will be running an hour long taster session at the centre on Wednesday Sept 18 from 10.30-11.30am so people interested in becoming a volunteer can come and have a look before committing.  

Volunteering at the centre is flexible – just a couple of days a month. Sessions run from 9.40am-12pm and 12.40pm-3pm weekdays during term time. 

If you would like to book a place on the taster session, please call 0117 922 4511 or email sam@lifeskills-bristol.org.uk, or come along on Sept 18.

Lifeskills is based on the fourth floor of the Create Centre, Smeaton Road, Cumberland Basin BS1 6XN.

You can find a 360 degree tour of the centre - which doesn’t give away the surprises the children will encounter - here.