Children learn how to 'Think Safe'

Hundreds of children from across the Winchester district have been learning how to ‘Think Safe’ thanks to a week of special events taking place at Worthy Down Army Training Camp. The events were organised, funded and run by Winchester City Council.

320 children from primary schools in the district have spent the past week listening to practical advice from a range of professionals on how to stay safe and cope in a variety of dangerous situations.

Schools included Curdridge, Droxford, Itchen Abbas, Sparsholt, Twyford, Weeke, Harestock, Swanmore and Oliver’s Battery.

The Think Safe event is an active safety training programme in which children take part in ‘simulations’ of dangers that they may face in everyday day life and learn how to deal with them. Think Safe activities have been running throughout Hampshire for 18 years and all follow the same basic principles of educating primary school children on how to cope with real and potential hazards.

The event’s objectives are geared towards providing opportunities for children to learn in a safe environment, have practical experience of stimulated situations, relate situations to everyday life, practice and develop safety skills such as assertiveness, decision making and asking for help, and finally to develop skills in hazard awareness and risk management.

The training focuses on a number of key areas such as Fire safety, Personal safety (Stranger Danger), Road safety, and Consumer safety.  

The Think Safe event sees the City Council once again working in partnership with agencies such as Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, Hampshire Police, Community Support Officers, Worthy Down Army Training Camp, Hampshire City Council’s Road Safety Team, and Trading Standards.

The City Council’s Neighbourhood Warden Lesley Batchelor and her colleagues - Clive Elliston, Lydia Thompson, Hannah Beech and Trevor Lynas – have been working hard to plan and coordinate this year’s event.

Lesley Batchelor has been at the forefront of the Think Safe scheme for a number of years and believes it plays a vital role in helping to keep children safe. She said:

“Children are always curious to find out more about the world they live in, and learning how to look after themselves and keep safe is an important part of this development process. The Think Safe scheme is designed, not only to inform children of dangers, but to give them the knowledge and confidence to deal with real life hazards.”