Left to right: Firefighter Bennett, Firefighter Davies, Gala VIP customer and Crew Manager Cook
Firefighters from Strood were met with a ‘full house’ when they visited to their local bingo hall at the Medway Valley Leisure Park.
The crew attended an afternoon session at Gala Bingo Club in Chariot Way, Rochester, to talk with the players about fire safety and to promote Kent Fire and Rescue Service's (KFRS) latest campaign, Show You Care. The campaign, championed by singer and Dancing On Ice celebrity, Cheryl Baker, encourages people to look out for older, more vulnerable people in their community that may be socially isolated, and to check that they are safe and well.
Around 100 people arrived to play, with ages ranging mostly between 50 and 80 years old. Crews set up a small stand at the entrance and welcomed the players when the doors opened. When everyone was settled, the crew went up on stage to introduce themselves and explain why they were there, and gave an overview about the free services that KFRS can offer to help people stay safe and well in their own homes.
Then, it was all 'eyes down' to focus on the bingo, but in between games crews took the opportunity to walk around the tables and talk with players about general home safety, as well as the benefits of KFRS’s free safe and well visits.
The visit was very well received, as Firefighter Simon Davies, who arranged it, explained: “We met some wonderful people and shared lots of safety advice, as well as generating numerous safe and well visits. And for people who felt they didn’t need a visit, they still had the opportunity to ask questions and also advise us off anyone else they felt may need our services."
“The venue was delighted to have the chance of working with us to help keep their customers safe. We understand that attendance can reach up to 300 people at peak times, with a wide range of ages enjoying the game, so we are now looking to arrange future visits at different times to enable us to reach even more of our community."
General Manager at Medway Gala Bingo, Ray Davies, said: “The visit from Strood firefighters was very useful for our customers. The crew were very helpful and willing to answer all the queries people had. We were very grateful to them for taking the time to come along, and for the work that they do every day to help keep our community safe.”
Crew Manager Andy Cook on the mic at the Gala Bingo club, with Firefighters Simon Davies and John Bennett