Safety Sam visits South Hylton as part of new bridge project

Some 250 very loud schoolchildren from South Hylton Primary School were the first pupils in Sunderland to get a very special visit from ‘Safety Sam’ as part of the schools engagement programme for the New Wear Crossing project.

Sam

Samantha Stirling of Farrans gives a talk on building site safety to children at South Hylton Primary School, Sunderland.

The children took part in an interactive session with Safety Sam – answering questions and watching videos highlighting the dangers that children face if they trespass and play on construction sites.

“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.

The South Hylton pupils needed very little encouragement to join in the fun and suggested 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 whilst construction work is ongoing.

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 (pictured from left to right with Safety Sam) all helped out by demonstrating how important the safety equipment is.

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

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!”

Stephen McCaffrey, Project Director for FVB JV, said: “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.”

Samantha Stirling of Farrans with children at South Hylton Primary School, Sunderland. Pictured are; Lennon Hodgson, Reese Ross, Kalum Ross, Zachary Huson, Safa Khayam and Ella-Marie Evans Picture: TOM BANKS/BANKS PHOTO 07474 235303

Samantha Stirling of Farrans with children at South Hylton Primary School, Sunderland. Pictured are; Lennon Hodgson, Reese Ross, Kalum Ross, Zachary Huson, Safa Khayam and Ella-Marie Evans

Cllr Paul Watson, Leader of Sunderland City Council, 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.”

The new bridge will cross the River Wear between Wessington Way in Castletown and European Way in Pallion and is on track to open in the spring of 2018.

It is the first bridge to be built over the Wear in Sunderland for more than 40 years and is part of the wider strategic transport plan to link the Port of Sunderland and city centre with the A19.

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