Risk And Reward - A Factory Making A Difference

The smell of fermenting hops or baking biscuits is a familiar smell to residents of Edinburgh but a factory dealing in risk and making a difference is quite a different thing.

The Risk Factory, tucked away in a quiet corner of Chesser, is an interactive safety training centre, where everyday risks are explored in a safe environment. This innovative warehouse opens up a world of real life learning experiences to Primary 7 pupils from Edinburgh and neighbouring authorities, uniformed organisations, adults with additional needs, and young carers.

This year the Risk Factory educated eight thousand P7’s. Volunteers guide the children through eleven different stations encouraging them to identify and react to various health and safety scenarios including fire, road and water safety.

Christine Fudge, a visiting teacher from Bruntsfield Primary school explained 'The children get a much deeper understanding through experiencing the scenario for themselves. It is an extremely worthwhile trip, pitched at just the right level for the age group, encouraging independent thinking and the dangers of bowing to peer pressure.'

risk and reward factory collage showing factory and children crossing road safely

‘The children get a much deeper understanding through experiencing the scenario for themselves’

David Steele, one of the risk factory's valued volunteer Safety Guides, is a mature engineering student at Edinburgh College. He describes the process of becoming a volunteer as friendly and supportive giving him the opportunity to develop skills around presenting to and engaging with groups.

David says 'Each group of children is different, and they provide their own challenges and fun moments. There is the excitement of the house fire scenario where you are never sure if they are going to return to the burning building, the occasional scream in the dark alleyway and simply seeing if the children can cross the road safely is a vitally important everyday activity which sometimes is more of a challenge than you might think.

David Steele photograph

All in all, I find volunteering at the Risk Factory a very rewarding experience and I look forward to the days when I perform my role. There is a pleasure in sharing knowledge and a satisfaction that by the end of the session you have achieved something very worthwhile'.

Note: Volunteers are an essential element of the risk factory experience, if you are interested in becoming part of the safety guide team more info and contacts can be found on the website http://theriskfactory.org/volunteering/2016/17

Sponsors included Scottish Power, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, and Safer Scotland. There are a number of different ways companies can get involved http://theriskfactory.org/sponsors/become-a-sponsor.html

In addition to the scenario stations the centre has several meeting and conference rooms available to book. Income from venue hire contribute to delivering and developing the education programme http://theriskfactory.org/meeting-rooms/

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