Member News & Events

New trio is a powerful boost for skills for life education

Three new recruits will help Dorset skills for life charity SafeWise roll out new programmes to wider audiences as it continues with ambitious development plans for its learning villages in Bournemouth and Weymouth.

Experienced teacher Sue Sharpe has been appointed as Programmes Manager, and is joined by Programme Development Officer Sarah Jane Woods and SafeWise Weymouth site supervisor Steve Dewland.

In addition to years clocked up in the classroom, Sue, from Wool, has worked in various education roles, including with English National Ballet and English Touring Opera, and brings a wide of range of skills and knowledge to the newly created role at SafeWise.

Sue said: “The first time I looked around the SafeWise learning villages I thought they were fantastic because the big thing is ‘doing’ not ‘talking’, so children and other visitors learn through hands on experience, and that cements the message in their minds.”

Programmes Development Officer Sarah Jane Woods, from Creekmoor, will work with Sue on developing new programmes including older people and young people leaving home for the first time. She will also work to integrate financial education into all scripts at an appropriate level.

Sarah Jane, who brings a host of contacts and project management skills after working for the NHS, local authorities and other organisations, said: “I’m passionate about life skills, and am looking forward to using all my knowledge and experience to forge forward and drive the new programmes to success.”

Sue and Sarah Jane will work across the charity’s centres, and are joined by Steve Dewland who is based at SafeWise Weymouth as Site Supervisor, who will help keep the centre up and running on a daily basis.

Portlander Steve has been site supervisor for large masonry companies across the country as well as for sand and gravel quarries, where he was responsible for large teams and projects.

Steve’s also been in demand across the UK to carry out big restoration and conservation jobs on historic buildings, including landmark buildings in central London.

Steve is already putting his skills to good use to develop recently introduced scenarios at SafeWise Weymouth, including a beach, campsite, park, electricity sub-station, double decker bus and railway.

Steve said: “I had retired and was looking for something to stop me getting bored that would make a difference.I saw the SafeWise job come up, which is a good cause and may help save a kiddie’s life one day, which is what it’s all about.”

The new developments mean that SafeWise now needs more volunteer visitor guides to help schools, groups and other visitors learn essential skills for life in its learning villages in Bournemouth and Weymouth. Call 01202 591330, email or go to to find out more.

Chief Executive Rob Hattersley said: “I would like to welcome Sarah Jane, Steve and Sue to SafeWise, and say a big thank you to our funders and sponsors that have made their recruitment possible, especially Wessex Water, Dorset Council, Postcode Lottery and Strategic Solutions.”

“It’s a great time to join SafeWise as we launch exciting new programmes, and continue with ambitious development plans at our learning villages in Bournemouth and Weymouth.

“We are recruiting right now for volunteer visitor guides so get in touch if you fancy getting involved with SafeWise being on board for the next exciting stage of our journey.”

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New £10,000 partnership will super-charge safety education

New £10,000 partnership will super-charge safety education

Dorset skills for life charity SafeWise is delighted to welcome Scottish and Southern Electricity Network (SSEN) as a new £10,000 Silver sponsor.

The partnership sees SSEN join forces with SafeWise – which has learning villages in Bournemouth and Weymouth – to raise awareness of child safety issues around electricity substations, associated power lines and roadworks.

Using Be the Difference days, which enables SSEN staff to take time away from their day jobs to volunteer with local charities and good causes, SSEN colleagues installed a decommissioned electricity substation and overhead power lines at SafeWise Weymouth in time for the centre’s Junior Safety Inspector family tours at the end of August.

Roadwork scenarios at both SafeWise learning villages are also set to follow.

SafeWise Chief Executive Rob Hattersley said: “We’re excited to welcome SSEN as a new silver SafeWise partner and would like to thank them for their support, which will help SafeWise charity continue its essential skills for life education.

“The new substation and power lines at SafeWise Weymouth is a fantastic new safety scenario for visitors to experience and learn from.”

SSEN experts will also help SafeWise develop content for new programmes for older people, home leavers, school children, families and other visitors.

The new partnership also aims to increase awareness of additional SSEN community services – including a Priority Services Register, free-call 105 emergency number and Power Track app that keeps customers fully up-to-date during power cuts while enabling them to report issues.

Stakeholder Engagement Manager for SSEN, Alison Dean said: “Through our sponsorship and newly installed Weymouth scenario, SSEN is delighted to be able to extend this partnership with SafeWise, which helps us to show a younger audience the potential dangers that power supplies can bring when not used responsibly or with proper care.

“Being able to use Be the Difference days to build the overhead power lines and substation from decommissioned equipment means that we can bring safety scenarios to life that might otherwise be difficult to envisage. Now, visitors to SafeWise can easily visualise what can happen when people fail to act safely.

“This newly installed display builds a greater understanding for younger visitors, and while they’re learning how to stay safe we’re able to speak to their parents or carers about how we can help with the additional free services we provide to help people of all ages feel less vulnerable during a power cut.”

SSEN distribution and transmission networks carry electricity to over 3.8 million homes and businesses across the north of the Central Belt of Scotland and also Central Southern England – for more information visit

SSEN joins other key SafeWise partners including Dorset Police, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service, Dorset NHS, councils and sponsors such as Strategic Solutions, Wessex Water, MSP Business Services, IT365 and others.

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New partnership will boost financial education in Dorset

Dorset skills for life charity SafeWise is delighted to announce that award-winning local company Strategic Solutions Financial Services (SSFS) has signed up as a new £5,000 sponsor.

The partnership will see expert advisers from SSFS – which manages client portfolios worth over half a billion pounds – help develop financial planning and management content for SafeWise’s new skills for life programmes.

SafeWise Chief Executive Rob Hattersley said: “I would like to thank Strategic Solutions Financial Services for their sponsorship, we’re delighted to welcome them as a key SafeWise partner.

“SSFS’ financial contribution will help us continue to deliver essential skills for life education, and their financial expertise will help us develop existing and new programmes at SafeWise centres in Bournemouth and Weymouth.”

SafeWise already delivers Junior Citizen primary programmes to schools plus family, youth and group tours; but is now developing Age Well and Home Leavers programmes which will include significant money management scenarios.

SSFS has long been committed to supporting its local community and has recently set up a staff-run community fund which is financed not only by the company but employees too.

Founding Partner Kevin Forbes said: “Local people have trusted and supported SSFS as we have grown and become successful over the last nine years. We really appreciate that support and are committed to giving something back to help our local community.

“The new partnership with SafeWise is a perfect match. Our role as trusted financial advisers is to help clients make the right decisions for them about managing their money; and that fits perfectly with SafeWise’s ethos of educating visitors to make informed choices about managing risk and other situations in life.

“We’re delighted to advise on the SafeWise programmes, and can cover everything from first savings and investments to managing debt, student loans, mortgages and pensions through to power of attorney, tax, inheritance and more.”

Based in Branksome Business Park, SSFS was founded in 2010 and now has 18 advisers looking after the interests of over 4,000 clients worth over half a billion pounds across south and south west England.

Strategic Solutions has been awarded Corporate Chartered Planner for the last seven years and are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The firm has also been fortunate to win many national awards including two Retirement Planner of the Year awards as recently as June 2019.

Dorset charity SafeWise delivers skills for life education for schools, groups and other visitors at learning centres in Elliott Road, Bournemouth and Radipole Lane in Weymouth and is supported by police, fire and health services plus local councils and corporate sponsors.

For more information go to and

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Does your business take Corporate Social Responsibility seriously?

Do you, or have you considered supporting your employees to volunteer during work time each year, developing useful experience and skills along the way, not to mention great PR for doing the right thing?

SafeWise, the charity running ‘skills for life’ learning villages in Weymouth and Bournemouth, is seeking support in promoting its primary school programme. They are specifically asking local business with expertise in customer relations via telephone to consider nominating staff for the opportunity to support in this way.

SafeWise Chief Executive Rob Hattersley said: ‘We know from teacher feedback that schools love our revamped primary school programme, and we get a lot of repeat bookings as a result. However it is harder to reach schools who haven’t been to us before. We’re therefore seeking support from employees with great communication skills to phone schools to follow up our printed materials, and secure bookings.

We have a script and a system – all we need are willing volunteers! We’d be very happy to discuss promotional opportunities with new partners helping us in this way.’ If your business might be able to help, please get in touch by emailing

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BH Banter About – April

BH Banter About

The Bournemouth Chamber of Trade  & Commerce would like to invite all business owners to a free networking event at SafeWise Bournemouth.

Make new contacts, swap business cards, obtain new work.

Venue: SafeWise 

Time: 6 p.m. till 8 p.m.

Guest speakers Andrew Laws

Subject: Legal responsibilities and work related road safety

Cost: Free to members

Non-members are able to frequent two events before becoming BCTC members.  To find out more on how to become a member, please visit:

Places are limited, only registered guests will be guaranteed entry. Secure your tickets here!


Future dates for your diary:


5th June

3rd July

7th August

4th September

2nd October

6th November

4th December

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