World Health Organisation endorses Island safety initiative

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Members of the Outer Hebrides Community Safety Partnership gathered in Stornoway Police Station this week to mark the official launch of their 2012 summer safety campaign.

An accompanying 40 page health and safety awareness-raising booklet has been produced and 10,000 of these will be distributed at all Island air and ferry points, mainland ferry terminals and airports as well as at a number of key visitor attractions throughout the Islands.

The booklet has been produced in collaboration with the Partnership’s 26 member organisations and gives useful advice and tips on staying safe whilst enjoying the many outdoor activities the Islands have to offer.

Professor Leif Svanström, Chair WHO Collaborating Centre on Community Safety Promotion has written the foreword to the booklet describing it as being ‘magnificent’ and ‘an international example of best practice’.

Local Mum, singer and musician Julie Fowlis provides the booklet’s introduction highlighting factors such as sudden changes and weather conditions as well as promoting the use of sun screen protection.

Charlie Nicolson, Chair of the Outer Hebrides Community Safety Partnership commented: “This is the third successive campaign to receive World Health Organisation recognition and of that we are extremely proud.

“The key message we wish to convey through these booklets is that even though the Outer Hebrides are one of the world’s safest travel destinations rest assured there is a whole network of organisations ready to respond should you find yourselves in any difficulty.”

Maria MacDonald, CnES who along with colleague Frank Creighton designed and edited the booklet, added: “We use statistical evidence from partner organizations, especially from the frontline emergency services, to determine as to where and when accidents are most likely to occur.

“Communication and information sharing are key factors in this process. There was a lot of information for us to present, however I think we’ve struck the right balance between providing a vital safety advice resource as well as showcasing the photographic beauty of the Islands.”

The booklets were funded by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Social and Community Services Department.

Director Iain Macaulay told the Gazette: “Community Safety is extremely important to us all and I welcome the close inter-agency working that has resulted in both the production of this guide and the positive impact it will have in reducing the numbers of preventable accidents occurring.”

Pictured above are representatives of the Partnership at the launch of the new booklet.