Published: Monday, 20th December 2021

An innovative safety initiative has won a national award from Children & Young People Now.

The Safety in Action programme, set up by the Medway Task Force, supported by the Medway Community Safety Partnership (CSP) through funding from the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, teaches children aged 10 to 11 vital water, fire, road, internet and personal safety messages.

We worked alongside partners in Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS), Kent Police, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), Her Majesty’s Coastguard, Kent & Medway Violence Reduction Unit and Crimestoppers also took part in the innovative programme earlier this year.

Safety in Action was crowned the winner of The Safeguarding Award at The Children & Young People Now awards last month. The awards provide a great source of pride and recognition for those who work to improve the lives and others and have become the gold standard for those working with children, young people and families.

Around 1,300 pupils from more than 20 schools across Medway took part in the programme, which, due to the pandemic was delivered virtually through interactive presentations and video calls. All year 6 pupils across Medway also received Safety in Action workbooks, reflective safety packs and pens.

The Medway Task Force is currently working on the programme for Safety in Action 2022 and 38 primary schools across Medway have already signed up. As the programme was so successful the length of the sessions will be increased from 30 minutes to an hour.

Providing children with essential safety information

Cllr Adrian Gulvin, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Resources and Chairman of the Medway Community Safety Partnership, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Safety in Action has been recognised by Children & Young People Now. The innovative programme provided thousands of schoolchildren with essential safety information in a fun and interactive way. I would like to thank the Medway Task Force, particularly Hannah Rourke, who worked so hard to make this a success, and all the partners involved in Safety in Action for their hard work.”

Safety in Action also supports our aspiration to become a Child-Friendly City, putting children and young people at the heart of everything we do.

Outstanding example of partnership work and innovation

Chief Inspector Shona Lowndes, Kent Police’s District Commander for Medway, said: “The Safety in Action initiative is an outstanding example of partnership work and innovation – delivering these classes during a pandemic was no small feat. The shared expertise of Kent Police, Medway Council, and our other important partners, has empowered more than 1,300 school pupils across our district and it is no surprise to hear the scheme has received national recognition. It was particularly pleasing for me to see our Violence Reduction Unit and other partners help to deliver sessions on personal safety and I am confident the lessons learned will benefit the children well into adulthood. Protecting children is always going to be a priority for us, and we are looking forward to participating in similar initiatives in the future.”

Proud to work alongside other agencies 

Victoria Day, Medway Task Officer at Kent Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We were so delighted to hear that this project has been recognised with a Partnership Award. We’re proud to have worked alongside so many partner agencies to deliver this initiative, which has helped to educate so many children on important topics including fire, road, internet, water and personal safety.”

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