I had an exciting visit last week to a huge aircraft hangar at Wroughton, near Swindon. All part of the job! Formerly used by the Science Museum, this is the site for the third SafeWise centre which will be open in 2019. The project is being managed by Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service, who will hand it over to SafeWise to manage and develop.

We’re following key principles for experiential education during the design and build phase, creating an immersive and realistic environment in which visitors of all ages discuss, decide and do, rather than simply be told. We’ll be covering a wide range of safety, citizenship and lifeskill topics including but not limited to road, fire and water safety, crime, peer pressure, healthy eating, travel skills, independent living, financial skills and much more.

Prevention is so much better than cure on a human and societal level as much as a financial one. We’re keen to work with partners in the NHS, local authorities, the emergency services and schools to develop skills in visitors helping them to prevent problems before they occur, thus reducing pressure on these services.

Having managed delivery at the Safeside centre in Birmingham for West Midlands Firefrom its opening in 2008, it’s great to be involved even earlier in the process of setting up a new centre to meet the needs of Swindon and Wiltshire communities, and further afield. Huge thanks to hard working colleagues at DWFRS who have already put so much into this project. I look forward to working with you over the coming months and years as the project takes shape.

And if you are a business in the area, please get in touch to find out about some exciting opportunities to get involved. We’ll also be recruiting staff, and volunteer visitor guides – so watch this space!

Rob Hattersley

CEO at SafeWise (Bournemouth, Weymouth and Wroughton). Formerly a deputy headteacher, educational charity regional manager, and manager at Safeside for West Midlands Fire Service. Passionate advocate for experiential safety and citizenship education.