Sunderland schoolchildren get a visit from Wear Crossing's Safety Sam

Youngsters at a Sunderland school have had a safety message from a special visitor.

Tuesday, 21st June 2016, 10:09 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st June 2016, 11:13 am
'Safety Sam' Samantha Stirling with pupils (from left) Lennon Hodgson, Reese Ross, Kalum Ross, Zachary Huson, Safa Khayam and Ella-Marie Evans

Around 250 youngsters from South Hylton Primary School were the first pupils in Sunderland to meet mascot ‘Safety Sam’ as part of the schools engagement programme for the New Wear Crossing project.

The children took part in an interactive session with Safety Sam – answering questions and watching videos highlighting the dangers of face trespassing on construction sites.

'Safety Sam' Samantha Stirling gives a talk on building site safety to children at South Hylton Primary School, Sunderland.

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“Play safe, stay safe” is the Safety Sam motto and the main message to children is to make sure they do that by never going on a building site.

Samantha Stirling, also known as Safety Sam, said: “It’s always great fun visiting new schools and I have to say the children at South Hylton were brilliant – they really got involved and were very, very loud.”

Pupils needed little encouragement to join in the fun and suggest all sorts of ways that children and others could make sure they stayed safe as they learned about construction site dangers, such as falling off ladders, exposed objects, water and chemicals.

Safety Sam is an initiative run by Farrans Construction, which is the joint venture partner with Victor Buyck Steel Construction (FVB JV) on Sunderland’s new bridge project. The Farrans’ Safety Sam team is now making arrangements to visit other primary schools in the areas of Sunderland closest to the new bridge while construction work is ongoing.

'Safety Sam' Samantha Stirling gives a talk on building site safety to children at South Hylton Primary School, Sunderland.

Six lucky pupils got a chance to join in the fun in front of their classmates, trying on safety equipment, including hard hats, safety glasses, dust masks and high-vis vests.

Lennon Hodgson, Reese Ross, Kalum Ross, Zachary Hudson, Safa Khayam and Ella-Marie Evans all helped out by demonstrating how important the safety equipment is.

Year three pupil Zachary said: “It was great. We learned how to stay safe and how important it is to keep out of building sites.”

Stephen McCaffrey is Project Director on the Wear Crossing: “It’s important for us to engage with local schools and the wider community while we’re building this new bridge. This is a great opportunity to inspire young people – not just to stay safe but to take up careers in construction and engineering, and we want to make the most of it.”

Sunderland City Council leader Coun Paul Watson said: “It’s great to see local children getting involved with the project in this way.

“I’d like to thank the teachers at South Hylton Primary for hosting the event and the Safety Sam team for putting on such a good show.”