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MAN ON A MISSION

- Founder of Safe Communities Initiative Coming to Northumberland County on April 22 -

(NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY) – Meet the man behind the Safe Communities initiative.

In the same month that Northumberland County was officially designated as a Safe Community, Paul Kells – the person who started the initiative – is coming to Cobourg. Kells will share his story about creating the Safe Communities initiative, while meeting with representatives of Safe Communities Northumberland County on Wednesday, April 22, from 1-1:30 pm at the Cobourg Lions Centre (157 Elgin St. E.).

(NOTE TO MEDIA: Members of the media are invited for photo and interview opportunities)

Heather Grundy, a member of Safe Communities Northumberland County, says her group is thrilled for the chance to meet Kells, who has been the driving force behind the Safe Communities initiative since he founded it in 1996.

“Paul is a passionate believer in supporting and building communities that promote safety and prevent injury, so we are excited to have him come to Northumberland,” says Grundy, who is also a Health Promoter with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit.

According to his website, Kells is described as a culture change expert and respect/safety specialist. He started the Safe Communities initiative after experiencing a personal tragedy. His 19-year-old son, Paul, died in a workplace explosion in 1994 – a death that was not an accident, but entirely preventable.

Following his son’s death, Kells has made it his goal to help prevent any other family from experiencing the loss and pain that he and his family have experienced as a result of needless death, however it is caused. Safe Communities Canada, which is the network he founded, has seen thousands of volunteers in dozens of Canadian communities rally to the cause of preventing tragic injuries of all kinds. Kells has also helped build similar Safe Communities organizations in Australia, New Zealand and the U.S.

Safe Communities grew to be one of four major injury prevention organizations in Canada. In 2012, Kells helped lead efforts to merge all four together into one major Canadian injury prevention organization, now called ‘Parachute Canada.’

It was Parachute Canada that officially recognized Northumberland County on April 8 as a Safe Community, the 66th municipality across the country to achieve this designation, says Grundy. As part of the designation, various agencies and volunteers are committed to creating a safer and healthier place in which to live, work, learn and play. Locally, the three main priorities are to focus on falls prevention, on road/off road safety promotion and addressing incidents of self-harm and interpersonal violence.

To find out more about the local Safe Communities initiative, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1488, or email here.

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For media inquiries, contact:

Heather Grundy, Health Promoter, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100.

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