1998-2018: Celebrating 20 years of saving & changing lives

SafeWise will celebrate 20 years of delivering essential skills for life and safety education on 12 November.

The Dorset-based charity has welcomed an estimated 250,000 children at its learning villages in Bournemouth and Weymouth in the last 20 years.

Key partners – including Dorset and Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service, Dorset Police, NHS, local authorities and corporate sponsors – for their past support, and launch an exciting new Skills for Life strategy for growth will be thanked at a special event on 12 November at SafeWise Bournemouth

The Bournemouth learning village on Elliott Road was officially opened as ‘StreetWise’ by star of police drama Heartbeat Nick Berry, and then Sports Minister Kate Hoey MP, alongside pupils from Longfleet Primary School on 12 November 1998.

Chief Executive of St John’s Ambulance Martin Houghton-Brown, SafeWise charity patrons Angus Campbell HM Lord Lieutenant of Dorset and Dorset High Sheriff Jacqueline Swift DL – along with current day Longfleet Primary School pupils –  will be be amongst the special guests at special event to celebrate the past 20 years and look forward to the next 20 years.

A time capsule from 1998 will be opened with help of Longfleet Primary School’s ‘Keep Safe Council’ followed by a street party on the learning village’s indoor road network.

SafeWise Chief Executive Rob Hattersley said:  “SafeWise has been at the heart of the community for the past 20 years.

“The community has embraced SafeWise and many people recall childhood visits with fondness. A large part of that is down to our band of unsung heroes – dedicated volunteers, past and present – and we would like thank them for all their efforts.

“We would like to thank our partners including police and fire services, councils, NHS and many others as well as businesses who support us so generously.

“We’re not only celebrating the past but looking forward to the next exciting chapter for SafeWise as we equip visitors with the skills, knowledge and confidence to enjoy active, fulfilling and safer lives in stronger communities”, he added.

StreetWise Bournemouth was joined by a fire safety facility next to Weymouth Fire Station in 2011, opened by Olympic Gold winning sailor Sarah Ayton, before the two facilities formally joined forces under the SafeWise banner in 2014.

SafeWise Weymouth added an extensive road layout in 2016, which was officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal, who has sent a message of congratulations to the charity for the celebration event.

In 2017 the charity adopted a new business plan to extend its traditional accident prevention remit for children to include wider Skills for Life programmes for a range of audiences, taking in issues such as healthy living, mental health, digital well-being, financial capability and more.

Find out more about the SafeWise story.