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Gloucester South Community Fire Station and SkillZONE Open Day Saturday 5th September

| 17.09.15

The Open Day was a huge success with more than 1000 visitors enjoying the demonstrations, activities and tours throughout the day.  This year we were blessed with better weather so people tended to stay longer and take part in more activities, enabling us to not only show our community what we do but also help them consider how they can be safer at home and when out and about.  The event was supported immensely by Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership and many of our working stakeholders and partners, bringing together a fantastic day out which will help keep our community safe.

In SkillZONE, we were delighted to have so many of our volunteers helping out during the day, their enthusiasm was incredible and hundreds of families wandered around the SkillZONE village with time to talk about safety in all situations, particularly about keeping their children safe at home. Telecare were available in the house to demonstrate the usefulness of independent living aids for older family members, everybody seemed to be wearing a pedometer from the Think Travel stand and the RNLI had a very popular and interactive display in the water area.  NetZONE was buzzing all day with people taking up the offer to look at Drive IQ and lots of young people playing the interactive games on the CEOP cyber safety site.  This was helped enormously by Dave Webb from RDS, who came to support Drive IQ and ended up supporting cyber safety just as brilliantly.  The Open Day is an important part of the SkillZONE campaign calendar and we were thrilled at the number of families with young children that came throughout the day, this success would not be possible without the SkillZONE team working so flexibly so my personal thanks go out to both the permanent staff and the volunteers for a great day.

The County’s Road Safety Partnership contribution to this fantastic Open Day focussed on delivering key messages around the need to share the road with consideration for others.  Members of the public were treated to a variety of activities and presentations as diverse as bicycle handling skills to a display showing drivers just how easy it is to hide a bike and large motorcycle in their vehicle’s mirror blind-spots.  Presentations about the science of the eye and the challenges drivers have when looking but not seeing at junctions were also very popular and well attended throughout the day.  Another interactive display involved Drive IQ, a tailor made on-line package aimed at reducing the likelihood of pre and novice drivers being involved in a collision.  Parents in particular showed a keen interest in this resource which is currently delivered to students in 60% of the County’s secondary schools.

Third sector partners also supported the day with bike checks & free maintenance by the Gloucestershire Bike Project and a local cyclist Blogger promoted the health benefits of cycling using his own personal experience.

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