LAKESIDE SHOPPING Centre has launched a pioneering new scheme designed to keep children safe if they become separated from their guardians. The Child Safe Zones Programme aims to reunite lost children with their families as quickly as possible.
Posters are on show around the centre displaying a direct number to Lakeside’s security team in the CCTV control room. In the event that a child becomes separated from their guardian, the security team will immediately action their search procedure.
Shoppers can pick up a free colourful wristband from the two Customer Information desks, onto which they write their own mobile telephone number. Children in their care wear the band throughout their stay at Lakeside and in the event that they are separated from their guardian, anyone finding the child can quickly make a call to let the guardian know their child is safe.
Sarah Daniels from Stanford is a mum of two and keen to lend her support to the new scheme: “Every parent can identify with that terrifying feeling, you’re out shopping and you suddenly find your child isn’t where you thought they were. Panic sets in and you frantically start looking everywhere. This scheme is a terrific idea, and it certainly gives parents peace of mind while out shopping.”
Lakeside’s General Manager, Paul Lancaster, commented: “We’re very pleased to be able to add the Child Safe Zones initiative to our customer service offering. Hundreds of thousands of people visit Lakeside every week and we’re proud of our reputation as a safe and secure shopping environment. It’s very important to us that our customers continue to enjoy the pleasant and relaxed atmosphere here. In reality, very few children become separated from their guardians at Lakeside, but if that does happen, this scheme means we can reunite lost children quickly, minimising the upset for everyone.”
Families should look out for the Child Safe Zone’s smiley orange balloon stickers on shop windows displaying the help line number. Anyone losing sight of a child in their care or any shopper finding a lost child can call the number on the sticker to speak directly to the security team.