Safety first as volunteer Maggie is honoured

Maggie Partington has been given an award for her efforts in helping more than 400 children to learn about safety. 

Maggie, from Bishopston, is a volunteer at Lifeskills Safety Education Centre at the Create Centre in Smeaton Road.  Since joining Lifeskills as a volunteer in 2018, Maggie has completed over 100 safety tours for Year 6 pupils. 

Lifeskills has been designed to replicate a village setting and is a unique attraction. In small groups, the children, who are aged ten and 11,  take a guided, interactive tour of the village (set indoors) visiting different realistic scenes which include homes, Green Cross Road, a dark alley way, and a beach. 

During the tour, children get to experience lots of common hazards and are taught how to handle risky day-to-day situations in a safe environment. They also practise making emergency 999 calls, discover and react to a house fire, carry out first aid, and learn about the consequences of trespassing on a railway line – all made realistic with the use of props and special effects.    

Upon receiving her reward, Maggie said: “I love volunteering at Lifeskills – it’s always a highlight of my week. Working with the children and the other volunteers is so rewarding. It’s really energising to see the children get involved, learning so much that they will remember for years to come.”

Gemma Graville, centre manager, said: “Teaching children at this age and in such a practical way alerts them to the risks and consequences of everyday life. It’s a valuable element to their education, which means that school visits are always in high demand.”

“We know what we do makes a difference and saves lives; one child helped his family escape a house fire, another prevented a gas explosion, and a boy knew how to make a 999 call to help his mother. None of this would be possible with volunteers like Maggie.”

Lifeskills needs more help and is running hour-long taster sessions for anyone interested in exploring volunteering with children. Open during term-time only, Lifeskills offers flexible volunteering, pays volunteer expenses, and provides full training and support. To find out more, contact Amy Weston-Parkes on 0117 922 4511 or email