Pupils of a Porthmadog primary school have had the chance to put on hard hats and high vis jackets to learn about building site safety with Bob the Builder.
Award-winning builders Anwyl Construction have begun work on the £7.5m redevelopment of the town’s new Hafod y Gest Extra Care Scheme, and they arranged for the primary pupils of nearby Ysgol Eifion Wyn to receive a special visit.
Anwyl site manager Huw Hughes joined Grwp Cynefin representatives and the local Gwynedd Councillor and chair of the town council Selwyn Griffiths to deliver site safety lessons to pupils of all year groups.
The Ewloe-based company are building a 40-apartment extra care housing development for leading social housing provider Grwp Cynefin on the site of the old Hafod y Gest home.
The old buildings have been demolished and groundwork is being carried out in preparation for construction. The visit from Anwyl and Grwp Cynefin gave pupils the chance to learn about the construction industry and the importance of site safety.
Huw Hughes said: “The children’s character Bob the Builder helps us get the site safety message across and we have been talking about why we wear hard hats and bright luminous jackets and the dangers of going on building sites.
“There are lots of things a responsible construction company can do. For instance, the site’s perimeter panels have viewing slots at both high and low levels so children can see what’s happening there.
“It’s really important we engage with the children to keep them safe and if we show them the dangers that exist we hope they take that message home and tell their family and friends too.”
Ben Gregory, Grwp Cynefin’s Senior Community Officer, said: “The Hafod y Gest site is Ysgol Eifion Wyn’s nearest neighbour and we want to be good neighbours.
“This may be the first time children will have been so close to a building site and along with Anwyl we have been working with every year group looking at hazards and what we can do together to avoid accidents.”
Cllr Griffiths added: “In less than two years, older people will be moving into Hafod y Gest. It’s important that people of all ages understand what was needed and what is being provided for them.
“There has been excellent PR from Anwyl, Gwynedd Council and Grwp Cynefin and we are holding regular meetings with the school and other neighbours so everyone knows where we are up to and what the next stage is.
“The project means significant investment in the town. It is vital we keep residents informed and for children to know what is going on next door to their school so we can keep them safe.”
Ysgol Efion Wyn acting head teacher Kyle Jones, said: “The idea is to get children really involved in projects around the area and keep them up-to-date with things happening in their community.
“I hope, once older people move into Hafod y Gest, we can run IT lessons for them here and build on community engagement projects throughout the school.
“I was pleased to have the opportunity to discuss site safety and the perimeter fencing with Anwyl before work got underway and the children have responded really well today and are aware of the dangers of going onto construction sites.”
Pupils Noa Griffiths, seven, Cadi Davies, Liam Lewis and Sali Owen, all eight, said they enjoyed the Bob the Builder-themed safety talks and Sali said: “It is about keeping safe and not getting hurt. We have to learn about the dangers of playing near building sites. I liked what we have been doing.”
Liam said: “I know we have to stay away from diggers as they aren’t toys. The drivers might not see you and run you over and that would mean getting hurt.”
Noa said: “I never thought about things like falling into water in ditches or concrete. I know now I must not play on building sites. I don’t want to get hurt.
Cadi added: “I won’t go on a building site. They showed us lots of things that could hurt us. It’s been good learning about different things.”
For more information on Anwyl Construction go to http://www.anwylconstruction.co.uk and to keep up with what’s happening at Grwp Cynefin to go @Grwp_Cynefin