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Staying Safe with the Safety Zone

The Safety Zone has been in lockdown for over a year now, only opening for a couple of weeks at the end of 2020. As for many community organisations, it’s been a challenging year for them with restrictions. Many of their usual activities and scheduled events have been cancelled. Despite all this, they have managed to maintain a high level of contact and engagement with their local community in Bargeddie.

At the beginning of lockdown back in March 2020, The Safety Zone became involved with the Lanarkshire Community Food and Health Partnership. As part of their work with them, they recruited volunteers to supply groceries to those shielding and in isolation in Bargeddie.

Over the past year, they’ve created new partnerships with similar voluntary organisations in the surrounding areas. This has allowed The Safety Zone to diversify, and create more opportunities for their community. They assembled and distributed age-appropriate activity packs to toddlers, young people, and older adults. The Safety Zone has received assistance in distributing these activity packs from Childminders in Bargeddie Toddlers group, Locality workers from North Lanarkshire Council, as well as their team of Youth Workers and Volunteers.

Andrew Allan, a Senior Youth Worker (below), has recently been awarded a Certificate of Recognition from the Provost’s Citizenship Awards for his outstanding and dedicated service in the community. All those involved at The Safety Zone have ensured their community stay connected. The Chair of the Tuesday group for older people has kept them up to date with news from members who were unable to meet over such a long time.

Restrictions have meant they’ve had to embrace digital outreach. They welcomed over 250k visitors and contributors to their digital programme which provided music lessons, science experiments, cooking, games, puzzles, sports, podcasts, and discussions. In addition to these online activities, they provided staff with resources to continue working from their home, and digital equipment to young people homeschooling.

The Safety Zone reopened their premises at the end of May. While they were shut, they were still able to host outdoor activities such as their Parklife play sessions for children. They have done all they can to ensure a safe return to their main hall. They have updated the Centre to include signage, hand sanitisers, and socially distanced tables. The Safety Zone has purchased and installed colourful outdoor benches and tables to encourage outdoor activities, which they hope will be of use after restrictions are no longer in place.

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