How did 360 Skills For Life come about?

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.

The former SafeWise safety centre in Bournemouth, Dorset

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.

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