Participants on our recent Hazardous Environment Awareness Training in Oxfordshire had lots to say about the experience. We’re already planning our next open course for September, as well as two courses exclusively for the staff of individual humanitarian organisations.
“I was required by my employer to do the course and it was a daunting prospect at first. After four days however I felt a real sense of achievement and really enjoyed ever single activity. The course is amazingly comprehensive and is a very good balance between first aid, security, survival skills, emergency management and so on. I had no experience of first aid before and I now feel more confident that I would know what to do when confronted with medical emergencies including bullet wounds and snake bites! I have also become more aware of my personal security especially as a Western woman travelling alone to potentially hostile places. Finally, it would not have been the same without the incredibly knowledgeable and experienced instructors, their sense of fun and a glass of red wine by the fire.” Marie, Church Missionary Society
“As an aid worker regularly visiting insecure locations for up to a few months at a time, I found this course useful and highly relevant. I really valued the opportunities to practise the skills I learnt in a supportive environment – knowing I can make safe a firearm and handle catastrophic bleeding without fainting is very reassuring! The course was comprehensive and clearly structured, with opportunities to re-cap to make sure I actually retained what I was learning. The instructors were knowledgeable and sensitive – they know first-hand the way I work and the challenges I face, and it was great to hear and learn from their experience. At the end of the course I felt much more confident and well-prepared, as well as a bit heavier from the very good food 🙂 ” Cat Mahony, Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for West Africa and Great Lakes, CAFOD
“The Safer Edge HEAT course combined excellent training in humanitarian safety and security frameworks with practical scenarios that put theory into action. Working in the Niger Delta, uncertain events seem to arise at every turn and following the HEAT course, I certainly feel more confident knowing I would cope and better respond to a crisis situation. The training was diverse, covering many situations in many countries. The final 5-hour live scenario put all the skills learnt through a real test with emotions running high – and all very realistic! The instructors were absolutely brilliant, combining their extensive experiences to provide practical solutions for humanitarian aid workers and NGOs alike. The 4 days were a lot of fun, meeting some very interesting people with very interesting experiences. I would strongly recommend this course.” Matthew Halstead, Stakeholder Democracy Network
“The Safer Edge Heat course was an a comprehensive introduction to humanitarian security and first aid. Working in the Niger Delta, we have standard operational procedures in the event of a security issues, such as civil unrest in Port Harcourt. However, the 4 day course in Oxfordshire made concrete the process of risk assessment and the importance of designing and implementing a contingency plan in preparation for our field work.
The curriculum was well structured, alternating between practical and classroom activities. Our three instructors were informative, enthusiastic and paced the training sessions well, tailoring theoretical lessons of security to our individual working environments as well as using anecdotal examples to make classroom activities feel human.
As an NGO worker in the Niger Delta, the tutorials on sexual violence, kidnap and vehicle travel were especially useful. It was refreshing to have sound and professional advice about travelling in the developing world as a women. I feel I really benefited from the abduction scenarios as it reinforced the necessity to remain calm and compliant during a hostile situation.
An arguably daunting training was incredibly enjoyable with the Safer Edge team. Social evening walks in the Oxfordshire country side, Clanford’s farm land and ‘survival’ camp fires were a tranquil backdrop to car collision, catastrophic bleeding and gunfire.” Juno Fitzpatrick, Stakeholder Democracy Network