360 development plan
The SafeWise charity in Dorset ran two ‘safety centres’. These were part of a national network of independently managed full size ‘fake’ street layouts with road crossings, trains and track, buses, cars, a house, shop, beach and much more, used to teach mostly primary aged children essential skills for life such as safety, citizenship and what to do in an emergency.
SafeWise was the second to be opened in the UK, in 1998, and was supported by fire, police, NHS, local authorities, grant funders and commercial partners for 22 years.
Schools and others were unable to use the centre during Covid, and this has resulted in a loss of around a third of income in 2020. With an inflexible and expensive commercial lease, and little funding available for charities not dealing directly with Covid-19, trustees sadly had no option but to put the organisation into voluntary liquidation in early January 2021, with all staff made redundant.
360 Skills For Life Community Interest Company (CIC) was founded in December 2020 by the former SafeWise Chief Executive Rob Hattersley, to build on the SafeWise legacy and learned experience, and take it forward in a format better suited to the very different world of the 2020s.
We’re still in development, but there are things for you to do – see here for more information.
Take any topic planned for our virtual reality learning village and integrated in-schools programme, and you will find a number of other organisations providing support to schools and professionals to deliver in that area. What will make 360 different is a fully integrated programme including:-
- An interactive discuss, decide and do approach focuses on risk awareness, confidence-building and good decision-making
- Powerful repetition of skills across different scenarios and themes within a unified platform
- Blended learning integrates online virtual reality, in-school classroom activity and outdoor learning
- Partnership model leverages expertise and engagement from police, local authorities, NHS and others, maximising impact in a unified framework
360 will seek to work closely with organisations specialising in each topic area, to integrate key messaging, work together on development, develop joint funding proposals and to see 360 as a way of furthering shared objectives. We believe cooperation is more powerful than competition.
NHS England and Talbot Village Trust are supporting our Phase 1 pilot on safeguarding in Dorset and the south west. Dorset Police are supporting the 360 set up and considering how Dorset might act as a trailblazer for improved provision. Two commercial SafeWise partners – Volume.ai and IT Support 365 are continuing to provide pro bono support to the new start up. Only a few weeks into the new social enterprise as seen many very positive conversations with public, private and NGO organisations across the UK who can see the potential for this integrated partnership-led programme.
Supporting the 360 roll out can be a cost-effective way to scale up and engage positively, interactively and at scale with target audiences. For a full list of benefits, take a look at our Partners page.
We have three founding directors. CEO Rob Hattersley is joined by former CEO of Hazard Alley Safety Centre Milton Keynes (the first permanent safety centre in the UK) Jo Green, and eco education award winning teacher Edd Moore from Dorchester. We have now been joined by former local authority Chief Executive Tom Grainger, and accountant and business advisor Brian Hutchinson, both ex trustees of the SafeWise charity. Tom is now our Chair, and Brian our non-exec Finance Director.
Sue Sharpe, an experienced teacher, is continuing her work on the programme which she started as SafeWise Programmes Manager during lockdown. Hazel Serkis has been re-employed as our Business Manager to support with administration and finance.
To ensure 360 meets real needs and is well managed, we are establishing three panels in addition to the Board of Directors. An Advisory Panel will provide expertise in key strategic areas, a Stakeholder Panel will voice the needs of key partners such as police, NHS, local authorities, energy networks and commercial supporters, and a Teachers Panel which will ensure what we provide is what schools need. Finally, and most importantly, a Young Peoples Panel will ensure that develop matches their needs and is in a format they will engage with.
We will consider inclusion of any topic which we think prepares young people better for real life. So far we plan to develop scenarios and resources around the following topic areas, but this is dependent on partner support. Do let us know if you think we have missed something.
- climate and ecological emergencies
- consequences of crime
- construction site and roadworks safety
- decision-making and risk
- digital wellbeing and security
- drugs and alcohol
- electrical safety
- fire safety
- gas safety
- healthier lifestyle choices
- health pathways and dealing with emergencies
- home safety
- independent travel skills (route planning, pedestrian, cycle, public transport)
- mental wellbeing and personal resilience
- peer pressure
- personal finance
- rail safety
- road safety (pedestrian, bike, in-car)
- rural safety and behaviours
- safeguarding, abuse and exploitation
- violence reduction and conflict resolution
- water safety
We’re working hard to develop a pilot plan in Dorset for testing in Autumn 2021, funded by NHSE and Talbot Trust, with a focus on safeguarding. This will then be rolled out for a year long evaluation to schools in the south west region and other funded areas. Within 5 years, we plan to offer the programme to every 0-18 age group, across all the topics mentioned, and at a national UK level.
We believe that co-operation is more powerful than competition.
We will work closely with topic specialist organisations to integrate their messaging to our programme and help meet their objectives, adding value to their existing specialist interventions.
We will seek partnerships with local and regional public bodies such as emergency services, councils and NHS, to join up initiatives to make them easier for schools to access with minimum extra work.
We also seek to work with and promote the remaining physical safety centres where they continue to operate, as visits to these facilities can enhance learning from our virtual programme.
360 is a 2021 response to the world our young people now face. It’s unfortunately one of ongoing pandemics, ecological crisis and constant change and disruption – including in schools. This is why we have switched from delivery in permanent centres requiring a one-off school visit, to online, in-school and outdoor provision, meeting schools where they are and impacting young people across their school careers.