It is every parents worst nightmare: their bright eyed happy-go-lucky ten year old goes off to play and does not come back safe and well – or worse does not come back at all.
The Junior Good Citizen Scheme is designed to help children avoid putting themselves at risk or accident or injury; raises their awareness of potential risks to their well being; encourages them to respond appropriately to emergency situations, and values the contribution that they can make to creating safer communities by being ‘Good Citizens’.
The multi agency partnership scheme has been running successfully across Wiltshire for many years. This year we are again running one central scheme based in the Scout Headquarters at Potterne Wick, just south of Devizes.
Over a two-week period between Monday, 2 and Friday, 13 July, approximately 1200 year 6’s, (10 and 11 year olds), accompanied by teachers and helpers, travel to the scheme 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. The emphasis is on having fun while they learn.
The challenges are run by a variety of different agencies and include situations such as:
The Fire Brigade looking at fire hazards in the home and making an emergency telephone call
Wiltshire Council, Consumer Protection aimed towards how to be responsible around dogs, being a responsible dog owner (dog fouling, collars/tags/leads etc)
The Police scenario is a prison cell, the students learn about different crimes and the ultimate punishment of imprisonment
Wiltshire County Council Road Safety Department covering stopping, breaking distances and road safety,
West Wiltshire District Council Community Safety Officers looking at Anti Social Behavour issues.
Wiltshire Council Environmental Health Officers investigating food safety and germs
St John Ambulance staff teaching how to deal with a choking incident
Sarsen Housing running a Hazard Alley looking at safe routes and associated crimes including Anti-Social Behaviour
The emphasis throughout is on the youngsters actively participating and thinking for themselves, as well as pointing out the various dangers.