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Official opening of Safety Central by The Princess Royal

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HRH The Princess Royal officially opened Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Safety Central last week, taking a tour of the lifeskills education centre in Lymm as part of her visit.

Her Royal Highness was welcomed to Safety Central by David Briggs, Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, and Cllr Bob Rudd, chair of Cheshire Fire Authority.

The High Sheriff of Cheshire, Mrs Alexis Redmond, along with other local dignitaries and school children were also in attendance at the opening of the service’s interactive lifeskills education centre.

The facility offers people of all ages the skills and knowledge they need to stay safe and well at home, on the road or out and about in our community.

During the opening event, The Princess Royal was able to see what the £4.5m state-of-the-art indoor village has to offer through its four themed learning zones.

Her Royal Highness met children from Latchford St James CE Primary School.

The youngsters were taking part in activities delivered by volunteer rangers who got the chance speak to The Princess Royal about the contribution they make to the centre.

Cllr Bob Rudd said: “Cheshire Fire Authority is extremely proud of the facility which will help people to stay safe and keep healthy.

“We know from our work trying to keep communities safe from fire that some people are more at risk than others.

“That’s why we worked closely with our friends and colleagues in the NHS, the police, councils, housing and lots of other agencies to bring Safety Central to life.”

Cheshire Fire Authority is funding the running costs of Safety Central, which means that visits by schools and community groups are offered free of charge.

Situated on the same site as Lymm Fire Station, the centre features:

  • Safer Choices – a series of immersive scenarios encouraging people to think about the impact of their decisions including a police custody suite and cell, courtroom, convenience store and a space for learning about online safety and healthy lifestyles
  • Safe as Houses – a full-sized three-bedroom family home, shed and garden all rigged to not only demonstrate the most common causes of accidents, but also technologies to help prevent injury and promote independence
  • Streetsafe – a dramatic urban environment complete with a road, bridge, toucan crossing, cycle path, railway station, park, canalside, alleyway, building site and substation
  • Ruralrisk – recreating Cheshire’s great outdoors…indoors, this zone highlights hidden dangers in the open countryside, forest and lakes, on farms and on rural roads.

Mark Cashin, chief fire officer and chief executive of Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has an impressive track record in preventing people of all ages from coming to harm in the home, on the road and in the community.

“Our state-of-the-art Safety Central takes this work to a whole new level. For the first time ever, we have a purpose-built facility dedicated to public safety.

“Through a team of dedicated staff members and volunteer rangers, visitors will learn how to stay safe, well and independent by experiencing a range of hazards in realistic learning zones that simulate the environments in which injury and harm is most likely to occur.”

Schools or community groups working with children and young people wishing to visit should visit the Safety Central website for booking information.

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