Eight year 6 pupils from Orchid Vale school have taken part in the award-winning Young Volunteers Project with Swindon Youth Offending Team, learning all about the youth justice system and what can happen to children who get into trouble.
Explaining the learning opportunities Denise Rafferty from Swindon YOT said: “We feel it’s important to get the youth justice message out to children just as they are transitioning from primary to secondary school.
“The Orchid Vale youngsters visited Gablecross police station to view the custody suite and went into the cells. They were most shocked to learn that if anyone checks on you in the cell they might see you on the toilet.
“What makes it even more powerful is that they then go into other year 6 groups and make a presentation to them about youth justice and what they’ve experienced. This has a lot more impact than an adult like me presenting the same information.”
Commenting on the success of the project Denise said: “Swindon YOT won second prize at the Youth Justice Board conference in 2012 for this initiative which is unique in Britain. For such a small team we consider this to be a great achievement.”
Expressing her enthusiasm Orchid Vale head girl Abbie Greening said: “It’s a good way to learn about the difference between doing good and bad things.”
Head boy Tom Ponting added: “It will be good to talk to people in other schools about what we’ve learnt.”