The Safer strangers, safer buildings campaign was inspired by the work of PC Helena Hodgson in Manchester. Child’s Eye Media came across her work when we were making a series of films for young children entitled A child’s eye view of keeping healthy, staying safe, about how to keep safe with fire and fireworks, on the streets, on the beach and near water, and how to keep themselves healthy. Many teachers and parents had asked us to make a film showing what children should do if they got lost – a big worry for anyone who looks after children. We approached Greater Manchester Police about filming one of their officers working with children, were so impressed by Helena’s simple, but brilliant, advice, about Safer strangers and safer buildings that we thought it deserved to become part of a national campaign. Along with the Children’s Safety Education Foundation, we approached Kidscape and Suzy Lamplugh Trust about getting a coalition of charities involved to really help spread the message. We were delighted that ACPO also agreed to back the campaign and help turn it into a UK-wide strategy. With the support of John Leech, our local MP, we were able to launch the campaign at the House of Commons (May 7th). As well as Ian Carter from ACPO, and speakers from each of the charities involved, Sue Palmer, the educationist and author of the best selling Toxic childhood, also spoke about the wider issues of modern childhood. The response from all the charities, educationalists, journalists and government figures who attended was extremely positive.
You can view 2 of the speeches here: Steven GaugeAs well as making the film, Teigan gets lost, available to view free of charge on our website here, we have also produced a pdf of the Safer strangers, safer buildings code, which can be downloaded and printed here. We hope that schools, nurseries, parents and carers will all watch the film with their children, and work out who the safer strangers, and where the safer buildings, are in their areas. As well as the excellent advice, we think that it’s Helena’s warm, positive manner that really helps to convey the message of the film. Instead of panicking when they get lost, children who have watched the film feel much more confident about what to do in an emergency.
Chief Executive, Suzy Lamplugh Trust Liam McGurrin
Children’s Safety Education Foundation