Praise for new centre at heart of safety message

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A GOVERNMENT official has given his seal of approval to a new £215,000 centre boasting a state-of-the art film set to deliver fire, road and personal safety messages to the public.

The Lifewise Centre at Hellaby is run as a joint venture between South Yorkshire Police, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership.

It was built as a replacement to its ageing predecessor, which was based at Magna, Rotherham.

Neil O’Connor, director of fire, resilience and emergencies at the Department for Communities and Local Government, praised the centre and partnership behind it at the official opening.

He said: “The creation of this centre is an excellent example of partnership working between local agencies.

“Children and young people represent a great opportunity to the fire and rescue service and the police as educators to introduce lifelong skills and messages which will lead to fire safe, responsible and safer behaviour in all our communities.”

Chief fire officer Jamie Courtney said: “This centre is an outstanding example of the ground-breaking collaboration work we are involved in with the police and other partners.

“Educating young people to help keep themselves safe is of common interest to us and we have both based our community safety teams at the centre to develop ongoing partnership working.”

Temporary Chief Constable Bob Dyson, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “We have adopted a one-message approach, which means that it doesn’t matter which service the staff member comes from they will ensure all safety messages from the partnership are delivered.

“This means we get messages out about fire safety, crime prevention and road safety and use the Lifewise Centre as a hub to direct the public if they require more information.”