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Fenland children learn vital skills at Safety Zone events

Hundreds of primary school children gained crucial safety skills thanks to the latest Safety Zone events to take place across Fenland.

More than 650 children enjoyed hands-on activities covering an array of important safety topics when the workshops were hosted at fire stations in March, Whittlesey and Wisbech in May and June.

They learned everything from fire safety in the home, staying safe in and around water bodies, road safety and dog behaviour to online safety, basic first aid including CPR and age-related product safety.

The Safety Zone events were launched by the Fenland Community Safety Partnership over 15 years ago, with the aim of equipping youngsters with skills to keep themselves and others safe.

The latest events were jointly organised by the Children and Young People team at Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service and Fenland District Council, with support from the fire service’s Community Champion volunteers, Cambridgeshire County Council, Cambridgeshire Constabulary, Wood Green Animal Shelter, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Healthy Schools Support Programme and East Anglian Air Ambulance.

Station Commander Paul Clarke, the lead for Children and Young People in Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, commented: “We’ve been delighted to host these Safety Zones at our fire stations across Fenland. These events provide a fantastic environment for young people moving from primary to secondary education to access important safety messaging. They’re able to learn in a friendly environment from a whole range of professional colleagues. All attendees take away a workbook, ensuring they are able to continue their learning after they leave us.

“It’s a fantastic initiative and we look forward to working with other districts throughout the next academic year.”

Councillor Susan Wallwork, Fenland District Council’s Portfolio Holder responsible for community safety, added: “The Safety Zone events continue to be huge success, with hundreds of pupils taking part in them every year.

“They offer valuable life skills to our young people in a fun and interactive way, helping them to protect themselves and their families too.

“Sessions are free and would not happen without the support of all the agencies involved, and the feedback from schools is always really positive.”

Teacher Callum Brown, Maths Lead and Sports Coordinator at Cavalry Primary School in March, said: “The children had a fantastic time at the fire station for the Safety Zone event. They were given every opportunity to learn vital skills that will keep them and others safe. Each activity was engaging and interactive which meant they were enjoyed by all children. Children wanted to continue their learning back at school with the use of the workbooks. We will definitely attend in the future!”

Peter Ingham, Head of Upper School at Park Lane Primary School in Whittlesey, said: “This experience for our children is invaluable. The life skills which they learn could help save not only their own life but the lives of many others. We are so fortunate to have this excellent opportunity, which builds character and confidence, available to us on our doorstep. The instructors are knowledgeable and friendly which enable the children to develop their understanding on issues which are relevant to their everyday life.”

Hannah Orbell, a Year Six teacher at All Saints Primary in March, added: “The Safety Zone event covered many aspects of how our young people can keep themselves safe and was relevant to the risks they face today, including online content and the negative effects of vaping. It was extremely well-organised and delivered in such a way as to really engage the children.”

Mia, a year six student at All Saints, said: “All the activities were really fun, and they will help us in knowing, for example, the age restrictions when buying or using products,” while fellow All Saints student Aston added: “We learned how to keep ourselves safe and how to potentially save lives.”