Lifewise Centre receives national recognition for immersive community safety education

SOUTH Yorkshire Police have been singing the praises of its Lifewise centre after the mock-up town centre was praised in a national report.

His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services highlighted the “immersive” approach to community safety in its July paper Police Performance: Getting A Grip.

Lifewise is a joint venture from SYP and South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue which uses interactive scenarios to educate visitors on staying safe and making informed decisions.

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All South Yorkshire visit during Year 6 to take part in sessions covering topics like fire safety, knife crime and anti-social behaviour.

There are also sessions held on offences which affect older people more, such as fraud and online crime.

SYP and SYFR hosted an open day at the site in Hellaby last Thursday (3), when colleagues gave an insight into the work of officers and support staff for hundreds of visitors.

A police spokesperson said: “The centre was bustling with energy, with many fun activities to take part in, including a treasure hunt, tombola, finger-printing, uniform try-on and ‘beat the bleep’.

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“On a usual day, the project officers and admin team at the Lifewise centre provide a number of educational inputs to schools and children across the county, whilst managing cadets, volunteers, the Mini Police programme, referrals, Crucial Crew and bespoke events.”

The “film set” includes a magistrates’ court, bus stop, local shop, prison cell and more.

Community safety manager Margaret Lawson said: “Our primary focus is using education and early intervention to keep members of our community safe, and we are extremely proud of the services we provide.

“Working in collaboration with different partners allows us to constantly update the services we offer and ensure the messages and advice are relevant and engaging. This makes what we do at Lifewise unique, and we’ve seen the positive impact this has on improving community safety.”

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Other ventures at Lifewise include sessions on adapting to life in the UK for new arrivals from elsewhere in the globe, and partnership work with voluntary and community sector organisations on subjects such as rogue traders, fraud and missing people.

Find out more about the centre at