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Getaway to SkillZONE

Earlier this year, GCRP invited the Friendship Cafe’s youth groups to explore SkillZONE, Gloucestershire’s only interactive life skills village where people can learn to keep themselves safe in various scenarios.

While SkillZONE wasn’t a ‘traditional’ choice as a destination for our Getaway projects, where we invite urban youth to explore Gloucestershire by rail, being safe in public transport environments is an essential part of building confidence for young people to become regular users of Rail and Bus services.

Twenty four young people from the youth groups learnt about making safer choices in public spaces in the SkillZONE village, exploring the Rail and Bus scenarios, dark alleyways, learning to be safe around electricity units and how to call 999 in emergency situations.

We worked collaboratively with many teams to make this day happen. Not only were the SkillZONE team and The Friendship Cafe incredibly helpful in making the day a success, we were also joined by GWR’s Odis Palmer from the GWR REACH Network, who presented to the young children about how to be confident rail travellers, and Alison Kramer, the Network Rail Community Safety manager, who enhanced our own education about safety on railways. For example, did you know an average train, after putting on the brakes, travels the length of twenty premier league football pitches before stopping?

We want to ensure that our Gloucestershire youth are equipped with the knowledge to make themselves and others safe around public transport and this collaborative effort is just the start of us enhancing our own railway safety programmes - On the day, our new rail education team Platform scoped out the idea of a bespoke programme to enhance what they already offer - in school workshops, free resources for schools and free rail familiarisation visits for school children. Visit them here to find out more >

Our thanks to everyone involved. We hope to continue working with other organisations to enhance our programmes and projects. Stay tuned to find out more in our next blog!

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