The SafeWise charity in Dorset ran two ‘safety centres’. These were part of a national network of full size street layouts like film sets, with road crossings, trains and track, buses, cars, a house, shop, beach and much more. They were used to teach children skills for life such as safety, citizenship and what to do in an emergency. Most remaining centres are managed by local fire services or councils, and some are charities as was SafeWise.
Originally called StreetWise, SafeWise was the second centre to be opened in the UK, in 1998. It was supported by Dorset fire, police, NHS, local authorities, grant funders and commercial partners for 22 years.
Schools and other visitors were unable to use the centre during Covid-19, which resulted in a huge loss of income. With an inflexible and expensive commercial lease, and little funding available for charities not dealing directly with Covid-19, trustees 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 SafeWise Chief Executive Rob Hattersley, to build on the SafeWise legacy and learned experience, and take it forward in a format better suited to a changed educational and economic environments post Covid.