Adults with learning disabilities, supported by national charity Hft, recently spent time at a specialist safety village in Gloucestershire.
Fire SkillZONE aims to equip visitors with the skills and knowledge to lead independent lives in an interactive and fun way. The village, which is ran by Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service, contains 16 zones, allowing visitors to experience a wide range of real-life environments including a cinema, alleyway, railway platform and park.
For adults with learning disabilities, opportunities like this provide a valuable chance to learn about dealing with potentially risky situations in a safe and educational environment.
During the two hour visit, seven adults supported by Hft took part in a short initial quiz to assess their existing knowledge and were then immersed in a range of real life situations that they might encounter whilst out in the community, covering vital areas including crossing the road, travelling by bus and internet safety.
Senior Support Worker Denise Mumford reflects on the day:
“The people we support had a brilliant and very educational day out at Fire SkillZONE. I was blown away by the choice of scenarios on offer and how relevant they were to the individuals, their safety and their life experience.
“The interactive activities were extremely realistic, providing people we support with valuable guidance that will help them to live as independently as possible. Key lessons from the day included the importance of following fire safety guidance and the discovery of the spinning wheel at traffic lights to help visually impaired people cross the road safely. We’re now planning to visit annually.”
The safety conscious visitors are supported locally at Moreton-in-Marsh’s Hft service, which was rated as ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) last year. Providing supported living accommodation and a drop-in centre in the heart of the community, the service aims to support adults with learning disabilities to live the best life possible.
Cllr David Norman, cabinet member for SkillZONE, and Group Manager Donna Potts, Manager of SkillZONE, said:
“The staff and volunteers at SkillZONE are delighted to work alongside Hft to provide an opportunity for people with learning disabilities to recognise risky situations and understand how to keep themselves safe and independent at home and in their community.
“We are really pleased that the group enjoyed their visit and we look forward to welcoming more groups to Gloucestershire’s first safety education centre in the future.”
Notes to editors
For further information please call our media enquiries line on 0117 906 1697.
Hft is a national charity supporting more than 2,500 adults with learning disabilities across England and Wales to live the best life possible. Established in 1962, the charity uses its own unique Fusion Model to consistently deliver high quality, person-centred support across all its services.
Services range from supported living to residential care – from a few hours a week to 24 hours a day. Hft also helps people with learning disabilities to take part in daily activities, make friends and develop relationships and to find work.
For more information about Hft, please visit www.hft.org.uk
Information about learning disabilities
A learning disability can be mild, moderate, severe or profound and is defined as having a reduced ability to:
- Understand new or complex information
- Learn new skills
- Live independently
For more information about learning disabilities, please visit www.hft.org.uk/resources-and-guidance
Location: Hft Worcestershire Area