- Aoife Dean displayed amazing presence of mind to wake her mum in the middle of the night when she smelled something funny (it turned out to be a dangerous build-up of gas)
- North West’s gas emergency service, Cadent, and its gas safety superhero teddy bear Safety Seymour take steps to officially recognise Aoife’s brilliant actions
- Presentation supports launch of new website – www.safetyseymour.co.uk – which is free to access and full of fun ways to teach a serious gas safety message
A nine-year-old girl, whose actions in the middle of the night averted a potential major gas incident, has been recognised for her fantastic response by the North West’s gas emergency service.
Young Aoife Dean woke at 4am and smelled something unusual at her home in St Helens, Merseyside. So, she got up and alerted her sleeping mum, Sian.
Sian called the national gas emergency number
and an engineer from Cadent, Ryan Liptrot, arrived quickly at the scene.
After carrying out checks inside and around the property, Ryan found an elderly neighbour had left a gas ring on in their kitchen.
“But for Aoife realising something wasn’t right, we could easily have been looking at an explosion, affecting several properties,” said Ryan, a First-Call Operative (FCO).
He managed to gain access to the neighbour’s property and make everything safe.
Sian said: “I’m really proud of Aoife. We were shocked to learn what we could smell was actually gas – and I am so glad she woke me up that night! She’s my little hero.”
Cadent had originally planned to arrange a surprise presentation at her school, but then found she’d moved to South Wales…
So, Aoife’s surprise was packaged up and despatched via post instead.
This includes a certificate of recognition signed by Jenny Moten, Cadent’s North West Network Director, as well as a letter from the gas industry’s teddy bear safety superhero, Safety Seymour, and a teddy bear of the same (one of only a small number that exist).
Jenny Moten said: “Aoife’s actions were nothing short of amazing. For her to have the presence of mind to do what she did was just incredible and I am really pleased that we have now been able to recognise that officially.”
Telling Aoife’s story now – the incident happened in 2019 – is helping Cadent to encourage children to ‘act like Aoife’ and learn about gas safety.
Safety Seymour, a teaching aid used in schools, is now online. It uses storytelling, cartoons, classroom-style activities and even yoga to alert families to gas-related dangers.
The new website – www.safetyseymour.co.uk
– has been launched jointly, during Covid-19 lockdown, by all the gas networks (like Cadent) in UK.
Phil Burrows, Cadent’s Customer Vulnerability Social Programmes Delivery Manager, said: “With people spending much more time at home, gas safety is more important than ever.
“Safety Seymour has educated many thousands of children – and their families – through classroom-based sessions which have been running since 2015.
“The new website allows Key Stage 1 children to continue learning at home, with fun, family-friendly activities.”
Cadent is the UK’s biggest gas distribution network, managing more than 80,000 miles of underground pipes and hundreds of above-ground stations that deliver gas safely to millions of properties in North West England, the Midlands, South Yorkshire, East of England and North London. It also provides the 24/7, year-round gas emergency service to the same areas.