Emergency services, safety and security businesses and volunteer organisations coalesced to provide a one-stop special event in Staplehurst Village, for the benefit of local community safety.
Maidstone Police Community support personnel, Kent Fire and Rescue Service intermingled with the Parish Council Speedwatch team, and NHS health MOT mobile testing unit and number of businesses involved in home and commercial security, fire risk management and even epilepsy prediction equipment.
The event was billed as ‘An interactive fun family event with a serious theme’ aptly demonstrated by children climbing in and out of fire and police vehicles and having their bicycles security marked to help prevent theft.
Helen Grant, MP for Maidstone & The Weald attended the event and met with many exhibitors and visitors. She said ‘there was something important and useful for everyone at the village community centre and is a model that I hope is replicated throughout my constituency. It helped explain more about our emergency services, alerted people to new technology and showed us how to plan for risks - like preparing an escape plan if there was a fire in the home’.
The event was organised by Elaine Symes from Lainey’s Farm, a remarkable care farm and rural skills centre for adults with learning difficulties located in Staplehurst. Elaine said ‘After joining our local Neighbourhood Watch group I was wondering how to attract more members and to raise awareness on security, after a large amount of local break ins’.
‘I had an idea of arranging an event rather than just a talk, I wanted to arrange an event that would attract all age groups and to be as interactive as possible, and show the residents of Staplehurst what was available to help them locally, the event idea then grew into Safety Security and well-being’.
‘I am really pleased with the event and I have had nothing but positive feedback. People have been asking if I will organise another Stay Safe Staplehurst Event, and it is already in the planning stage. If the event saves even one life, the hard work will have been worthwhile’.