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North Wales charity, DangerPoint, is to develop an educational programme specifically designed to help adults with learning difficulties to recognise the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO).

The Talacre-based interactive visitor centre has received over £3,200 from gas emergency and pipeline service, Wales & West Utilities, to develop the programme, which will be delivered at its interactive centre. The funding will also allow professional support workers, including carers, to be trained in CO safety so that they too, in turn, can use the facility to pass on helpful advice to their clients. DangerPoint will also develop their own CO information, which will be handed out alongside free CO alarms, in a bid to improve awareness of the deathly dangers of CO.

DangerPoint has received the funding through Wales & West Utilities Vulnerability and Carbon Monoxide Allowance (VCMA) fund.

DangerPoint Centre Manager, Cat Harvey-Aldcroft, is delighted this funding has come at a pivotal time. She said:

Carbon monoxide awareness is so important as sadly it hospitalises many people each year. Our centre offers schools, families and those with learning difficulties the opportunity to learn about the many hidden dangers around the home, in a fun and interactive way.

This funding will allow us to specifically develop material to promote the awareness of the dangers of CO to people with learning difficulties, who can find it particularly hard to understand and identify issues, leaving them with an increased risk of death or serious injury from the poisonous gas.

Carbon monoxide (CO), known as the ‘silent killer’ because you can’t see it, smell it or taste it, kills 50 people a year in England and Wales and hospitalises many more. In the UK, there are more than 4,000 visits to Accident & Emergency for treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning – which can often lead to lasting neurological damage. Even low levels of exposure over an extended period can cause serious health issues, including brain injuries.

DangerPoint is an independent charity based on the North Wales Coast. It is an award-winning interactive visitor centre open during school term time for schools and organised groups and during local school holidays for a fantastic family day out. Designed like a film set, the centre offers visitors the opportunity to learn about safety, in a fun and interactive way.

Tom Robinson, Social Obligations Specialist at Wales & West Utilities, said:

We’re pleased to provide this funding so that DangerPoint can further its support to help those most in need by providing them with vital gas and CO safety advice.

We are committed to doing everything we can to support those most in need in our communities. Working with trusted partners like Danger Point means we can help more people stay safe in their own homes.

Between April 2021 to March 2026, Wales & West Utilities has £7m to spend on projects which support consumers in vulnerable situations and raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide and keep people safe from the ‘silent killer’.

Funding is made from the Vulnerability and Carbon Monoxide Allowance (VCMA), and 75% of the money will be spent on projects relevant to Wales and south west England only, while 25% will be spent on collaborative projects with the other gas networks across the whole of the UK.

If you have a project that you think Wales & West Utilities could support, either individually or collaboratively with other gas networks, then contact Wales & West Utilities at VCMA@wwutilities.co.uk.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we'll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We'll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.