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Safety drive at Potterne for young Wiltshire citizens
HUNDREDS of youngsters have taken part in a scheme which teaches them personal and community safety.
The Junior Good Citizen Scheme raises awareness of potential risks to children’s wellbeing, encourages them to respond appropriately to emergency situations, and values the contribution they can make to creating safer communities by being ‘good citizens’.
The scheme is supported by various organisations, including Wiltshire Council, and has taken place in the county for several years. This year it is based at the Scout headquarters in Potterne Wick, south of Devizes.
Over a two-week period up to tomorrow, about 1,200 ten and 11-year-olds, accompanied by teachers and helpers, have visited the venue where, on arrival, they are divided into groups.
The groups then face different ten-minute challenges, each designed to help them learn about personal and community safety.
These include sessions with Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, examining fire hazards in the home and making an emergency telephone call; Wiltshire Council’s Consumer Protection, looking at dog fouling and dog behaviour; and with Wiltshire Police, focusing on crime and the consequential punishment.
Wiltshire Council Road Safety Team has been covering braking distances and road safety, Wiltshire Council’s Community Safety Team has been looking at anti-social behaviour issues, Wiltshire Council’s environmental protection officers have explained about food safety and germs, and St John Ambulance staff have been teaching them how to deal with a choking incident.
Sarsen Housing has been running a Hazard Alley, looking at safe routes and associated crimes including anti-social behaviour.
Coun Keith Humphries, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for public health and protection services, said: “Young people taking part are given a host of fast-paced challenges which make them stop and think and consider their own safety and how they act within their community.
“The scheme is successful because the multi-agency approach means they can experience a wide range of scenarios which will ultimately help them prepare for being a junior good citizen.”