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Local councils help support Safe Drive Stay Alive

Date: 13th September, 2019

Councils from around the Swindon area have stepped up to keep the Safe Drive Stay Alive roadshow running for another year.

Safe Drive Stay Alive is a road safety initiative coordinated by Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service on behalf of a partnership including Wiltshire Police, Wiltshire Council, Swindon Borough Council, Arval Ltd and Severn Major Trauma Network.

The aim is for every Year 11 student to see the presentation, and for schools not to be financially affected by supporting this. All transport to and from the venues is paid for by the Safe Drive team, but rising costs have made this more challenging.

Group Manager Glyn Moody, who oversees the fire stations in Swindon and the surrounding area, said: “I’ve been asking our local councils if they could make a contribution and the response has been outstanding. Every penny goes towards the programme and maximising the number of students we can target, so we are hugely grateful for every donation.”

Thanks go to the following: Swindon Borough Council, Blunsdon Parish Council, St Andrew’s Parish Council, Wroughton Parish Council, Chiseldon Parish Council, West Swindon Parish Council, Highworth Town Council, Haydon Wick Parish Council, South Marston Parish Council, Central Swindon South and Central Swindon North. Thanks also go to the Empire Cinema at Greenbridge, for providing the venue for the 12 Swindon presentations free of charge.

Safe Drive Stay Alive starts its 2019-2020 programme later next week in Swindon, before visiting the rest of Wiltshire. Some 2,500 students from across the Swindon area will experience the hard-hitting road safety presentation across six days.

Between 17 and 26 September, the presentation will be seen by students from St Joseph’s College, St Luke’s Academy, Dorcan Academy, Nova Hreod Academy, Swindon Academy, Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, Bradon Forest School, Lydiard Park Academy, Lawn Manor Academy, Abbey Park School, Ridgeway School, Swindon UTC, Kingsdown School, Commonweal, the Oakfield Project and the Fernbrook Centre. Highworth Warneford School will be attending a later show in Marlborough.

Safe Drive Stay Alive uses powerful personal testimony and dramatic video footage to make the audience aware of the tragedy and suffering caused by road traffic collisions. Firefighters, medics, police officers, bereaved parents and people who have been directly involved in road traffic collisions recount their stories, often in heart-breaking detail.

Since its launch in 2006, the roadshow has been seen by thousands of students – and the organising team wants it to be essential viewing for every school in Swindon and Wiltshire.

Christine Sharma, road safety manager at Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, explained: “The presentation is hard hitting and upsetting, but we make no apology for that. The speakers are real people who have experienced the horror of road traffic collisions, whether as a member of the emergency services, as a victim or as a parent who has lost a child. It is this truthfulness that makes it so successful. We know that the young people who see this roadshow are affected, and we have seen the number of young people killed or seriously injured on our roads decrease since the programme started. We really do make a difference.”

Safe Drive Stay Alive roadshows will also be held for schools across Wiltshire this Autumn, with presentations in Salisbury, Melksham, Devizes, Tidworth, West Lavington, Chippenham and Marlborough between October and December. There will also be a number of shows held specifically for military personnel in November, and a parallel programme of shows for schools in Dorset.

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