New way of working for SafeWise

Trustees have agreed a new operating model for SafeWise charity. This will see SafeWise operate only one centre, in Bournemouth, to serve all Dorset and South Wiltshire, and move to an enhanced three strand delivery model of digital, outreach and centre-based experiences for its skills for life programmes. 

SafeWise Chief Executive Rob Hattersley said: 

“The new SafeWise operating model will deliver essential skills for life on a sustainable basis to audiences, such as schools, across all of Dorset, including Weymouth, and further afield in the future. 

“We believe skills for life will be more important than ever as the country emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our new way of working means SafeWise will be very well placed to play a key role in aiding the recovery by equipping children with the life skills to stay safe and well, and build resilience. 

SafeWise is handing the Weymouth building back to DWFRS. We understand that this is a much valued facility, and we are disappointed to do so but the charity can no longer afford to run it in the current climate and continue to survive.

 “Trustees examined all options robustly and it was a difficult decision to make, but one that allows the charity to adapt to a changing world and lays the foundations for a bright future in Dorset and beyond. 

 “We would like to thank all our visitors and partners, past and present, for their support and invite them to join us on the next stage of the SafeWise journey.” 

What is the new model?

SafeWise will operate one centre in Bournemouth to serve Dorset and South Wiltshire, and move to an enhanced three strand delivery model of digital, outreach and centre-based experiences for its skills for life programmes. 

Why has this decision been made?

The already challenging economic climate and demands of running two safety villages in one county have been exacerbated by the impact and uncertainty brought about by COVID-19, and as a result the charity has needed to make some difficult choices in order to survive, flourish and grow. 

The economic challenges are great, exacerbated by the COVID-10 pandemic, and these have resulted in a change in the way education and care will be delivered to our children. 

We are adapting to big changes in the world and the country, in the way we work, and how we educate and care for our children.  The charity has made huge strides forward in the past two years and we have had brilliant support from partners, some of whom we know are themselves under huge financial pressure. 

What happens now?

What we can do is adapt – and we believe our new plan will have a bigger impact through digital, an in-school programme, and supporting travel to a single Dorset centre based in Bournemouth serving the county, including Weymouth, and surrounding areas. 

SafeWise temporarily closed its Weymouth and Bournemouth centres in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our SafeWise centre in Bournemouth will re-open for visits and bookings when it is safe to do so, and cater for audiences across the county and further afield. 

What happens to Weymouth centre?

After 9 October, the building will be handed back to DWFRS who have no current plans to re-open it.

We understand that this is a much valued facility, and we are disappointed to be handing it back to the fire service, but the charity can no longer afford to run it in the current climate and continue to survive. We are committed to delivering skills for life learning for the Weymouth community and the new operating model will allow SafeWise to do that. 

Our key mission of delivering skills for life education has to be the charity’s priority right now and we are committed to doing that across Dorset, including Weymouth area schools.  

Further information 

If you have any questions please contact SafeWise in the first instance by emailing info@safewise.org