Every year, in June , Wealden co-ordinates a ''hands on'' teaching event for over 600 children.
The project has been successfully running in Wealden for 20 years. This annual event aims to teach young children (10 to 11 year olds) from Wealden based primary schools, how to deal with potentially dangerous and sometimes life-threatening situations. There are 10 scenarios, that the children have to deal with, which range from being approached by a stranger, reacting to a fire and dealing with an accident etc.
The Council facilitates the event, but works in partnership with all the emergency services and other agencies (see below under 'Key Partners'). There is also a competition element to the event with the school attending, which obtains the highest mean score winning a prize. There is also a special road safety award in memory of Lawrence Reeve, a young boy who was sadly killed on a Wealden road. This is sponsored by Servomex, Crowborough.
The 10 scenarios:
- Police Issues (Sussex Police)
- Farm Safety
- Railway Safety
- Dealing with an accident (Ambulance)
- Road Safety (Sussex Police)
- Fire Safety (East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service)
- Electrical Safety (UK Power Networks)
- Alcohol Safety (School Nurses)
- Safe Choice Shop (East Sussex Trading Standards )
- Water safety (Freedom Leisure)
The event is co-ordinated by Wealden Public Health and Community Services Team. Agencies involved:
- Safer Wealden Partnership
- South East Coast Ambulance Service
- East Sussex Downs and Weald Primary Care Trust
- East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service
- Sussex Police
- UK Power Networks
- Freedom Leisure
- East Sussex Trading Standards
- East Sussex County Council
The event takes place in the grounds of Herstmonceux castle. This is kindly allowed by Queens University, Canada.
Evaluation sheets completed by pupils, teachers and agencies attending. An annual evaluation meeting is held after the event to review the project and evaluation sheets are completed by children, students and scenario organisers. The level of knowledge about the issues raised during Safety in Action was higher in those attending.
Over 10,000 children have attended Safety in Action over the 19 years it has been taking place giving them the opportunity to increase their knowledge of personal and community issues.
One teacher attending the event said ''its fantastic, the children really enjoyed acting out scenarios. They liked feeling grown up and making decisions."
Each year a Safety In Action Summary Report (pdf)is produced.
2011 saw the 20th anniversary of Safety in Action, with 11,000 children attending the event over the years.
The event was celebrated by the award of a special accreditation from the Royal Society of Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA). Wealden is the first agency in the South East to receive this award.
Safety in Action is always received well by the teachers and children. Generally the feedback is extremely supportive of the event, with 99% of teaching staff rating the event as either an excellent or good learning experience.
Sophie Hepworth, Specialist Environmental Health Officer, Wealden District Council
T: 01323 443275 F:01323 443320 E: firstname.lastname@example.org