An army of volunteers is being enlisted to work with the most vulnerable Birmingham families to reduce the risk of death and injury in their homes.
LifeForce - a new community-based volunteer programme for Birmingham - has been set up by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) to provide local people with the skills, support and knowledge to stay safe in their homes.
Accidents in the home are the single biggest risk to communities, and the new recruits will pass on vital life-saving tips to families on how they can avoid the most common injuries - from older people falling to burns and child poisonings.
The first volunteers have now signed up to LifeForce, but more locals are being urged to join the scheme and make a real difference in their community.
Volunteers will focus on the most vulnerable - children under five and the over 65s - in a bid to help reduce the staggering number of accidental injuries in the home - more than 6,000 deaths every year, with millions more casualties in A&E.
LifeForce volunteers will also have the added bonus of gaining valuable work experience and training that could help in their career prospects or further community work.
Justin Powell, RoSPA’s volunteer manager, who is coordinating LifeForce, said: “We are looking for volunteers from all walks of life to help make a difference in their community. Not only will they be helping people live longer lives, free from accidents, but they will also be gaining great experience and training in the process.
“Unfortunately, thousands of people are killed in their own homes due to accidents every year. Children under the age of five and people over 65 are most likely to have an accident at home so it is imperative that something is done to tackle the problem.
“LifeForce volunteers will offer householders help and guidance in identifying potential dangers such as hazards. So, if you have a few hours to spare each week then we would love to hear from you.”
The project will initially run in Birmingham before being rolled out throughout the rest of the West Midlands and the UK.