Allianz KidZone, which helped keep children and vulnerable people safe across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole’s (BCP) coastline throughout 2023, has concluded and proved a huge success.
The valued scheme ran from 14 July – 3 September this year and was newly operated by global insurance provider Allianz in partnership with BCP Council. Allianz is one of the largest employers in the local area.
Over the 51 days KidZone was active, 42,000 wristbands were distributed to children and vulnerable people by dedicated Allianz KidZone representatives, trained RNLI Lifeguards and BCP Council Seafront staff.
These wristbands had a parent or guardian’s contact details written on them, as well as their location on the beach. This information aims to help reunite any missing person quickly and easily.
In total, the scheme helped to unite 111 lost people with their group in an average of just 21 minutes.
During Bournemouth Air Festival alone, which ran from 31 August – 3 September and attracted nearly 600,000 visitors, KidZone helped find 15 missing people while more than 12,000 wristbands were handed out.
Discussing the value of the scheme, Heather Smith, Managing Director of Retail at Allianz, said:
“All of us at Allianz are thrilled that KidZone has had such a positive impact this year and we are grateful to have operated the initiative alongside BCP Council, helping to look after thousands of beach visitors.”
Councillor Millie Earl, Deputy Leader of BCP Council and Portfolio Holder for Connected Communities, added:
“We recognise that losing someone can be a terrifying experience, especially on our large and often busy seafront. This year, Allianz KidZone has succeeded in helping to keep people safe.
“The wellbeing of our residents and visitors is of prime importance to the Council, so we are grateful for Allianz’ support this summer season - a business which shares those same values.
“I would also like to extend thanks to the several Allianz KidZone volunteers, BCP Council Seafront Staff and RNLI Lifeguards who worked tirelessly to help run this initiative on the ground.”
The scheme comes to a close alongside school summer holidays, as children return to full-time education.
If you are planning on visiting the beach whilst Allianz KidZone is inactive, trained RNLI Lifeguards can be found at any Lifeguard Tower and remain on hand to offer help, advice and support.
In a life-threatening emergency on the beach, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.