Happy 10th birthday to Ivor Goodsite!
This year Ivor Goodsite celebrates his 10th birthday. Since his first appearance, Ivor Goodsite quickly became the construction industry’s mascot, engaging with children to promote safety and all that is positive about UK construction.
From humble beginnings as sketches of a chap in a builders hat, to becoming a nationally recognised figure which represents and promotes all that is good in the construction industry, there is no doubt that Ivor Goodsite is one site manager who is here to stay.
Ivor Goodsite at the Scheme’s recent ‘Improving The Image Of Construction’ event celebrating his 10th birthday with Monitor Trevor Fish
For anyone yet to encounter Ivor in the ‘flesh’, he takes the form of an oversized costumed character complete with tool belt and soft tools. Developed by the Considerate Constructors Scheme, the Ivor Goodsite character is widely known today as not only site manager of his construction company, Goodsite Construction, but as a friendly giant who visits schools and takes part in various events across the country to promote safety on construction sites and the positive image of the UK construction industry.
The initial idea for the character of Ivor Goodsite surfaced in 2002 starting with just three simple cartoon sketches of a builder. These images were used in the very first edition of Industry Image to visually depict examples of good and bad practice on construction sites.
Ivor Goodsite made his debut appearance in the first edition of Industry Image
However, it was not until the following year that these sketches were able to materialise. Ivor was brought to life in 2003 when he made his debut at National Construction Week where he met MP Jackie Smith and local communities. During the event, the character proved particularly successful with the children and it quickly became apparent that his strengths lay in his ability to engage with a young audience. Even at this stage it was clear that there was great potential for expanding Ivor’s activities, not only as a tool to educate young people about construction, but also to warn them of the dangers of playing on construction sites.
Ivor at National Construction Week in 2003, where the first costume was unveiled
To help promote Ivor and his message, he built his very own website later the same year and after early events with Blue Peter presenter Simon Thomas, swiftly followed by a half marathon, there was no stopping him. More events followed including the staging and judging of children’s poster competitions, appearances on carnival floats and participation in the ‘Big Sunday’ event to help promote the Olympic Games.
By 2007, Ivor’s increasing popularity demanded the acquisition of three further costumes, bringing the total to five. Children’s fun packs were also developed to support his many school appearances, and as word spread and the Scheme grew, more and more companies were requesting the appearance of Ivor at their construction related events. More varied events followed, including visits to children’s hospital wards on behalf of contractors, and 2007 was even capped by an appearance on HTV’s 6 o’clock news!
With Ivor’s diary for 2008 getting increasingly busy, the total number of costumes crept up to ten to cope with demand. Ivor was carrying out more visits than ever and it was decided that it was time for a revamp of his website. A fancy new homepage emerged with more games added to further communicate the message of construction site safety, and a further two costumes were created just to keep up with Ivor’s bulging diary.
Ivor’s website www.ivorgoodsite.org.uk
In 2011, Ivor managed to beat his record number of visits, achieving a new record total of 252. This was a crucial year for the site manager and it saw the launch of a brand new initiative; ‘Hunt the Hazard!’ hoarding posters. The A1 poster, showing a construction site and its many potential hazards, was designed by Ivor Goodsite’s creators, endorsed by the Children’s Safety Education Foundation, and was to be the first of a range of resources available to promote the message of construction site safety to a younger audience. Ivor later went on to launch his own range of children’s branded PPE, which proved extremely popular with contractors wanting to take their events to the next level by bringing children onto their sites to see construction first hand.
Ivor at the launch of his popular ‘Hunt the Hazard!’ site sign with children wearing his Goodsite Construction PPE
Summer 2012 saw the launch of the highly anticipated Ivor Goodsite’s Construction Site Safety workbook which makes a valuable addition to the current resources available to both teachers and contractors. With such a busy year, the deluxe fun packs were introduced for those wishing to give out even more Ivor goodies at their events.
Children enjoying Ivor’s Construction Site Safety workbook and the deluxe fun packs
The birthday celebrations follow another very busy summer for Ivor, with the launch of his first ever Ivor Goodsite Hoarding Competition. Contractors are encouraged to ask their local community to design and decorate the hoardings surrounding their sites. The closing date for entries is November 1st and Ivor is giving prizes and goodies to all competition participants– with the winning submission receiving a visit from Ivor himself!
Commenting on Ivor’s birthday, Edward Hardy, Chief Executive of the Scheme, said:
“We’re delighted to be celebrating Ivor’s 10th birthday and taking a look back on ten years of promoting safety and encouraging the next generation into the industry. Ivor quickly established himself as the industry’s mascot and continues to prove ever popular in helping contractors deliver messages of health and safety to children. We’re extremely proud of Ivor and what he has achieved and look forward to expanding the Ivor Goodsite brand in the future.”
Now in his tenth year of service having attended over 150 events so far this year, Ivor seems set to continue engaging with children for many years to come. With a bulging diary, an army of Twitter followers and Facebook friends, Ivor goes from strength to strength and is looking forward to the next ten years!