Young people from across the West Midlands are set to benefit from an innovative financial education link-up between West Midlands Fire Service and Nationwide Building Society. The new programme is being delivered at WMFS’s Safeside centre in Birmingham.
Visitors are being taught to be more financially aware in a variety of scenarios and settings - including a full-size, virtual Nationwide branch, complete with cash machine. As well as getting tips on safe use of ATMs and security of financial information, visitors are taking part in activities designed to highlight the importance of budgeting, spending wisely and saving.
The scheme is the latest element in an integrated programme of courses offered in Safeside’s interactive indoor street environment, complementing West Midlands Fire Service’s wider community safety agenda. Safeside’s young visitors enjoy practical safety sessions which, in turn, give them confidence and help to raise their personal safety awareness - all now complemented by the new financial input.
Volunteers from local Nationwide offices are teaming up with Safeside presenters to deliver the two-hour tour session to groups of pupils predominantly from Years 9-11. Some 8,000 children and young people will visit the new Nationwide branch this year.
Phil Loach, Chief Fire Officer for the West Midlands, said: "We’re very proud of the varied yet fully integrated programme of courses offered by Safeside. They contribute directly to the personal and community safety awareness of the thousands of young people who visit every year. “Fighting fires and attending traffic collisions are just a part of what we’re about. By working with young people to influence their behaviour, we’re helping them to stay safe and take responsibility in many different areas of their lives. Our partnership with Nationwide will boost Safeside’s already strong reputation among schools wanting to bring a practical element to safety and citizenship education.”
Stephen Uden, Head of Citizenship at Nationwide, said: “Nationwide is proud to be part of this important work. Through our virtual branch and the efforts of our staff volunteers, we are confident we can make a real difference to the understanding of Safeside’s young visitors, equipping them to make safe, sensible and confident financial choices.”
Dangerpoint hosted a successful Alliance get together on Tuesday which included a visit from South Swedish Fire & rescue who are considering a safety centre in Malmo.
The visitors had spent Monday at Safeside learning about various initiatives in accident and fire prevention.
The meeting also heard exciting plans from Manchester Fire about a combined training and safety centre in the city. Visitors were delighted to meet Dangerpoint's new mascot, Chaos, who appears equally confident responding to visitors in Yorkshire, Swedish and Welsh!
The Alliance plans a bigger than usual AGM at Hazard Alley Milton Keynes on September 11th to which staff teams from centres are invited. Ideas for workshops, presentations and speakers are welcome.
A rather belated Happy New Year from Warning Zone, Leicester. Belated not least because things have been happening on the IT side of things here at WZ. Not only are we now on Cloud (lovely view from up here) but our new website is now up and running.
We still have the same web address so if you haven’t seen it yet check it out and find your way around. While you are there, have a look at the list of planned fundraising events for 2014. From our point of view we now have much more control over any changes we might wish to make to the web pages.
It’s at this time of year that it becomes apparent how little available time remains in the school year. After Christmas we sent a reminder to schools who hadn’t yet booked which prompted a sudden rush of phone calls. With teachers focussed on Year 6 SATs in May, which rules out school trips, there is now a very finite number of spare sessions left with June being completely full.
Our Volunteers’ Christmas social event was very successful with a range of traditional pub games on offer. I’m pleased to report that these were of the skittles, shove ha’penny type and none involved putting ferrets down people’s trousers.
At busy periods we still sometimes struggle to cover all our guiding slots which are often filled at short notice by some of our volunteers. Six new volunteers have now started their training course and should be going solo in March which should ease things in the June and early July madness. Additionally, applications have been received from three more people who may also be fully trained by then. This will bring our volunteer team to 60 people.
Scenario 6, the consequences of offending:
Guide to group, “So if you have a criminal record you may not be able to get the job you would like.
Boy, “Yeh, but you could always be a footballer.”
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