A trailblazing child safety centre has reached a major milestone in its history – welcoming its 100,000th visitor.
DangerPoint, established in 2005, is an interactive centre for schools and youth groups where young people can work through real-life scenarios to understand risk and learn how to keep themselves safe.
The Talacre-based centre is designed like a film set, where visitors can travel from home to the beach, countryside, playground and a host of other settings to explore dangerous scenarios, including cyberbullying and keeping safe online.
New displays include one about equality and diversity and another one about being environmentally friendly by recycling and reducing consumption of single use plastic.
Achieving the momentous 100,000 landmark coincided with a visit by pupils from Ysgol Dyffryn Iȃl, in Llandegla, and North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Andy Dunbobbin who provides funding for the life-saving centre.
Mr Dunbobbin said: “DangerPoint does a vital job because there is nothing more important that keeping children and young children safe. You can’t put a price on that.
“What’s brilliant about the centre is that they get the message across in a very effective, interactive and relevant way that children and young people can relate to. That means that these important lessons stick and that they take them home with them.
“I am delighted to be here on the day that the centre has welcomed the 100,000th child or young person to visit here which underlines the scale of their achievements.”
According to centre manager Julie Evans, the lessons learned at DangerPoint have undoubtedly saved many lives over the years – but it’s impossible to calculate how many.
What they do know, she said, is that the children take those lessons home with them and educate their parents and grandparents about safety in the home, in other settings and online.
She said: “We know that we’ve changed behaviour in children because we test their knowledge before and after to see whether they’ve remembered all the knowledge that they’ve gained here.
“We also ask them to explain to us how they’ve used that information in real life, what they’ve done differently, how maybe they’ve saved lives at home by changing their night time routine, switching things off, testing smoke alarms and the like.
“Then we’ll also do a parents’ quiz where we ask them whether they’ve done anything differently, whether they’ve noticed any change in their child’s behaviour and we’ve had some really good responses from that as well.
“Grandparents are saying that the grandchildren are teaching them about what they should and shouldn’t do in terms of safety.”
Lloyd Fitzhugh, Chair of the Trustees at DangerPoint, said: “I would suggest that there really isn’t anything on the health and safety, wellbeing front that we don’t actually deal with.
“We make a point of being entirely up to date with what the issues are by for example, talking to the police, talking to the fire service, talking to the schools as well, to see what they want and that helps to drive the agenda.
“I think it’s fair to say that every child, every grown up that comes here is basically blown away. They will more often than not, come back either as a school or maybe in the school holidays with their brothers and sisters.”
Huw Rowlands, the headteacher of Ysgol Dyffryn Iȃl, said: “DangerPoint does things in a way that we can’t replicate in the classroom, so for example when they go inside the train carriage, it’s so real, the noise as well. It’s like a TV set.
“When you go into the kitchen the children know and when you go into the living room part, they can spot the wires over there and it gets them thinking.
“Ysgol Dyffryn Iȃl is in a rural area and the centre also covers the potential dangers of the countryside as well.
“At school we have a duty of care for all these children and DangerPoint plays an invaluable role in keeping our pupils safe.”