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Byker kids get Safe Aware

Construction site safety mascot, Luke Safe, is playing his part in ensuring that Newcastle school children are Safe Aware

Posted by Dave Higgitt | May 16, 2014 | Security & safety

Pupils at Byker’s St Lawrence Primary School are now Safe Aware after the Byker Community Trust (BCT) teamed up with building firm, Keepmoat, to organise a visit from construction site safety mascot, Luke Safe.

Timed to coincide with the start of work on the £9.5 million refurbishment of the Byker Wall, for which Keepmoat is the lead contractor, the visit was organised by the BCT to help ensure that young people in the Byker area are aware of the potential hazards that a building site can hold.

"We work very hard to keep our building sites safe and secure, and the Byker Wall is no exception, but there are so many risks that we need young children to be aware of," said Lyndsey Leitch, Resident Liaison Officer at Keepmoat. "Luke Safe is a fun character who’s there to deliver a serious message and the talk at St Lawrence Primary School covered all the possible dangers that might be encountered.

“We shared the reasons why workers wear hard hats, high-vis jackets and protective footwear, as well as explaining why young people should not be tempted to try and get onto the site at any time. This is in line with the national ‘Stay Safe’ agenda and should help to ensure that young people know to keep away from the Byker Wall construction site, as well as other sites in the area.”

The BCT is working with Keepmoat and other subcontractors on the biggest ever refurbishment of the Byker Wall, which is expected to take two years to complete. The work includes a complete internal and external revamp of the iconic building, including a new roof, involving a lot of scaffolding and other temporary structures at various locations in the Byker Estate.

“It was very exciting to have Luke visiting the school and telling the children how to be safe around construction sites,” said Bernie Lamb, headteacher of St Lawrence Primary School. “I will be retiring at the end of the school year but it gives me great pleasure to see so much investment in the Byker Estate and I welcome the fact that both the BCT and Keepmoat are paying attention to construction safety issues.”

The work on the Byker Wall will coincide with major school breaks including Whit half term and the summer holidays, so the aim is to show all children how to stay safe, while still encouraging them to play and be active around the Estate. A further visit to Byker Primary School is planned in the near future.

“Luke Safe is a great character and this is a very important message, so we were pleased to support the visit organised by Keepmoat,” said Jill Haley, chief executive of the BCT, which owns and manages over 1,800 homes on the Byker Estate. “There’s a lot of work going on in Byker, not just on the Wall itself, so it’s vital that young people know how to stay safe at all times.”



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