Local children will learn how to ‘Think Safe’

Hundreds of children from across the Winchester District will be learning how to ‘Think Safe’ next month thanks to a week of special events organised, funded and run by Winchester City Council in conjunction with Worthy Down Army Camp.

500 children from primary schools across the district will take part in the week of activities. They will be receiving practical advice from a range of professionals on how to stay safe and cope in a variety of dangerous situations.

Schools taking part include Cheriton, West Meon, Harestock, John Keble, Twyford St Mary’s, St Peter’s Catholic, Durley, Owlesbury, Otterbourne, Kings Worthy, Itchen Abbas, Micheldever, Stanmore, St Faiths and Winnall Primaries.

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 life and learn how to deal with them. Think Safe activities have been running throughout Hampshire for 19 years and all follow the same basic principles of educating primary school children on how to cope with real and potential hazards.

The event 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 The Army, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, Hampshire Police, Community Support Officers, Hampshire City Council’s Road Safety Team, and Trading Standards.

The City Council’s Neighbourhood Warden Lesley Bridger and her colleagues - Clive Elliston, Lydia Thompson, Hannah Beech and Trevor Lynas – have been working hard to plan and coordinate this year’s event in conjunction with Military Personnel from Worthy Down Camp.

Lesley Bridger 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: “The Think Safe event is proving to be a great success. 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 scheme is designed, not only to inform children of dangers, but to give them the knowledge and confidence to deal with real life hazards.”

Capt T Richmond, Adjutant of Worthy Down, added: “Think Safe Week provides an excellent opportunity for personnel from Worthy Down Camp to work in partnership with agencies from across Hampshire and promote personal safety in a fun and engaging way for school children throughout Hampshire.”

This years Think Safe event runs from 5th to 9th October.