It’s no secret that Innovative Leisure prides itself on its extensive product range and the fact that we have a product to suit almost any sector. Theme parks, holiday parks and zoos are just some examples of the sectors you’d typically imagine we’ve worked with but there’s probably one or two you’d never have thought of. We certainly hadn’t considered our customer base could include local fire services. However our attractions are seen as a great channel through which to engage with the local community to spread an important message.
With Bonfire night upon us we draw upon the case of Merseyside Fire Service who purchased two Mobile Climbing Walls in 2010. They, along with Cleveland Fire and Rescue, saw a Mobile Climbing Wall as the perfect tool to use in community outreach programmes. Each branch of the emergency services has a duty to promote safety and this time of year is especially important for making certain that people are safe and aware of the risks.
The fire service’s initial aim was to locate walls in areas identified as having high rates of anti-social behaviour and engage the youths of that area. The main objectives included reducing deliberate fires, malicious false alarms and general anti-social behaviour. It also helped to introduce new volunteering opportunities and to create new educational and sporting opportunities in deprived areas. The hope was that these community events and unique opportunities offered by the fire service would help to create a respect for not only their work but also the communities in which they work and have a positive impact on the youths they were able to engage with.
Three years on Merseyside Fire’s Phill Marsh describes the wall’s impact: “The Mobile Climbing Towers supplied by Innovative Leisure are successful in engaging large numbers of young people within Merseyside into sporting and diversionary activities in locations identified as having a high rate of anti-social behaviour”.
This motive has signalled Merseyside Fire’s intention to improve specific areas and engage youth by simply offering them something to do. Marsh said; “By engaging with the young, Merseyside Fire is able to build relationships, creating safer, stronger and healthier communities.”
This is just one instance that proves that Innovative Leisure adventure attractions can provide not just entertainment but tools to engage with important audiences. It underlines the potential of adventure play attractions as a means of forming relationships with the general public and enforcing messages of safety.
Products in the Innovative Leisure range such as Mobile Climbing Walls, Zip Lines and the Water Wars balloon battle game have recently been used to engage the minds of the general public. Reaching out to the community by providing entertaining activities is a long standing tactic of local authorities, charities and community groups.
Enjoy your bonfire night and stay safe.
Written by Kier Lymn – Part of the Innovative Leisure Marketing Team.