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PCC visits Bristol Lifeskills

Last Friday (30 June), PCC Mark Shelford was out in the community in Bristol as part of his weekly Friday Engagement activity.

The day started with Mark visiting Lifeskills, a charity that offers interactive education for safe and independent living.

Activities are based on real life scenarios, which include houses, a road, shop, dark alleyway, a river and a railway line. The scenarios allow visitors to experience difficult or dangerous situations in a safe environment and learn how to deal with them.

The charity’s programmes are designed for a variety of individuals, from school year 6 children, adults with learning difficulties, those with special educational needs, older people and many other groups. The Lifeskills’ 85 dedicated volunteers facilitate these different scenarios with many schools from deprived areas.

During Mark’s visit, there were 54 children from Roundhill Primary School, Southdown in Bath, who have visited the Lifeskills centre every year since its opening in January 2000, missing only one visit due to the Covid pandemic.

Mark learnt about the various scenarios that Lifeskills offer, including the urban jungle experience, which aims to give people the skills to survive a low injury, build up their confidence so that they can make informed choices and live to their full potential.

Mark then met with some of the dedicated volunteers, saw students in action and then had presentations from the Centre Manager, Gemma Graville, and the Partnership & Development Manager, Sam Jury. These passionate presentations gave an overview the centre’s work and future plans, with one plan focusing on a new educational scenario, which will be delivered in collaboration with local partners.

“I was hugely impressed by the passion of everyone who works and volunteers at Lifeskills and would like to thank them for hosting me. The children I met were fully immersive in their experience within this exciting learning environment. My personal favourites were the street screen and railway platform.”

PCC Mark Shelford