Uniformed public services students from South Thames College have supported local emergency services with running a Junior Citizenship Week programme an annual event now in its 24th year. The scheme is organised by Wandsworth Council, the Metropolitan Police, the London Fire Brigade and the Ambulance Service. Students play the part of either 'villains' or 'victims' in various scenarios shown to primary school children.

Each year, the programme is delivered to over 2,200 year 5 school children from 53 London schools. Scenarios vary from a stranger in the street to rail and water safety. Children are also educated about substances, vandalism and first aid. This year the scheme is also being rolled out to vulnerable adults, such as those with learning disabilities, to encourage safety in the local community.

The scheme is beneficial for the public services students not only because they enjoy giving something back to community, but it allows them time to interact with the uniformed services such as police, ambulance and fire and rescue − institutions they aim to work for after completing their course.

Shirley Aitken of the Metropolitan Police said: "The students really put their own stamp on the scenarios to add drama and make them feel real. The children really believed until the last minute that the scenarios were real. They have made my job so easy showing great strength of teamwork and maintained good attitudes, even in bad weather."

Paul Cummings from the London Fire Brigade added: "This is a great chance for the students to engage with all three blue light services and impact on year 5 children, passing on essential life saving and safety skills."

Four years ago the scheme was accredited by ROSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), which enhances the credibility of the programme and acknowledges the benefits the scheme gives to the local community.


Posted October 14th, 2011 at 1540 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: andrew.lynch@pavpub.com