Mascot gives pupils safety insight

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Youngsters at a Peterlee school have been learning about construction site safety.

A care home is being built behind Howletch Primary School and construction company Walter Thompson wanted to ensure the safety of pupils was a priority.

Construction industry mascot Ivor Goodsite was introduced to the pupils by family-owned company Walter Thompson, which is building the 57-bedroom facility for Helen McArdle Care.

Site manager Phillip Gallagher said: “All construction sites are potentially hazardous places so educating children and the wider local community about safety is always paramount.

“Schoolchildren always enjoy a visit from industry mascot Ivor Goodsite. Aside from learning about the potential safety hazards, the children love getting to dress up in our safety and high-vis gear and always ask loads of questions.

“We’re coming back to the school again soon to do some brick-laying classes for the pupils with some rubber bricks and sand we’ve bought for the school, and have introduced free fruit Fridays working with the local Sainsbury’s as a way of giving something back to the community.”

Deputy headteacher Geoff Pinkney said: “It was a great assembly which the children really engaged with.

“The assembly brought home the message very clearly that building sites are not playgrounds, a timely reminder given that school holidays are coming up.”

He welcomed plans to hold more open days and events for local residents.

He added: “Meeting with local people is key because it’s fear of the unknown that worries residents.”