Cornwall Fire & Rescue's interactive safety centre Flashpoint is working with Devon and Somerset Fire and Plymouth People First to deliver a series of courses for people in their area with learning disabilities.
The first of nine self advocacy groups went to visit the Flashpoint Centre in Bodmin in early April. Visitors enjoyed a supported tour of 11 different zones, spotting hazards and learning how to either avoid them or make them safe. Amongst the participants were two with hearing impairment and we were able to help with signing by Sonia, one of the Flashpoint volunteer team.
Flashpoint Manager Ellen McConnell added "Huge thanks to the lovely volunteers who ran the sessions”.
Flashpoint Lifeskills Centre in Bodmin, the exciting interactive learning centre which simulates potentially dangerous and hazardous situations to deliver safety messages, has been awarded re-accreditation by the LASER Alliance.
Flashpoint Manager Elllen McConnell accepted the certificate at the centre in Bodmin on Monday 09 September on behalf of Flashpoint from Cassius Francis, LASER Alliance Co-ordinator and Youth Liaison Worker for The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA),.
Cassius Francis said: “What particularly impressed me on my first visit to Flashpoint Lifeskills Centre was that pupils had visited before to do training on first aid. That spoke volumes about the culture of embedding messages and supporting the continuing development of children’s risk competence.
“Manager Ellen McConnell, her staff, colleagues and volunteers deserve great credit for the dedication shown to support pupils in reaching their full potential.”
Flashpoint features a range of scenarios including kitchen, farm and beach safety; how to make a 999 emergency call; and how to be wary of contact through the internet when not everyone may be who they say they are.
Run by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, Flashpoint offers hands on practical advice to children and to the learning disabled as staff and volunteers guide visitors through 12 scenarios giving practical advice on what to do if something goes wrong.
The LASER Alliance, which is hosted by RoSPA and sponsored by the Gas Safety Trust, brings together a range of UK-based organisations and individuals that believe in children and young people “learning about safety by experiencing risk”, which is where the acronym LASER comes from.
Accreditation is awarded to providers of practical safety education who demonstrate their commitment to educational excellence and quality. The recognition is a marker to schools and other organisations that they can be confident in using the provider for LASER activities.
Flashpoint Lifeskills Centre first achieved LASER-accredited status under the stringent conditions in 2007 and again in 2011. It has again been tested under strict criteria to prove the quality of the experience provided for children and learning disabled visiting the centre.
“Feedback from schools and community groups who have visited the centre has shown that the practical hands-on approach really helps reinforce safety messages,” said Ellen McConnell, Manager of Flashpoint Lifeskills Centre.
Cornwall Council cabinet member for homes and communities Geoff Brown said: “We should all appreciate the value of the Flashpoint experience which contributes to helping us achieve safer communities. I want to pay tribute to the hard work of the staff and particularly the volunteers in achieving this award. It is always great to see visitors to Flashpoint so animated and interested in all the different scenarios. A facility like Flashpoint is hugely important and I would urge schools and any other community groups to contact them to arrange a visit – you’ll find it very worthwhile.”
Ellen McConnell added: “I want to thank everyone who has helped with the accreditation process and in particular to the wonderful team of volunteers without whom the centre would not be able to carry out its valuable work.”
Flashpoint Lifeskills Centre on Normandy Way in Bodmin is available to groups and to schools all over Cornwall.
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