I became a volunteer guide last January, and I love it. It is an extremely worthwhile, professionally run project that teaches 10/11 year olds how cope with emergency situations, spot hazards and stay safe. If you are thinking that you might give it a go – please do – they really need more help so that every child in the region can benefit from visiting the centre.
Lifeskills is based in the Create Centre at the Cumberland basin. Basically, it is a huge film set with 19 different “senarios” which includes practising emergency 999 calls, discovering and reacting to a house fire, carrying out first aid and experiencing the consequences of trespassing on a railway line – all made very realistic with the use of light, sound and wind effects.
The volunteer guides are great bunch of people from all walks of life. Some are ex teachers, many, like me, are not. The children work in groups of four with a guide who takes them around the different scenarios. As a new volunteer you will start by shadowing, and when you feel comfortable, you take over some of the sets.
What I particularly like about it, is the flexibility. You don’t have to commit to a particular day, or number of days. Just one or two days a month – whenever you can. They cover travel and lunch expenses – plus you get a bright red polo shirt uniform!
For me, it ticks all the boxes: the children have a great time whilst learning valuable skills; I am part of friendly team; I feel valued and appreciated; and the staff are extremely helpful and supportive. Finally, and most importantly, I might save a child from landing up in A & E – or worse.
I you would like to see the centre in action, give them a ring, and pop in sometime next term.
Lifeskills contact details