More than 400 Year 7 students from across Surrey Heath learned about leading safe, healthy lives by taking part in the Young Citizen programme last week (Nov 22-24).
The course aims to help young people broaden their social responsibility skills and learn how to deal with real-life situations.
Through a range of interactive sessions, students explored themes such as first aid, alcohol awareness, personal safety, peer pressure, as well as internet safety and how they can report a crime anonymously.
Students from Kings International College and Collingwood College were involved in the practical sessions delivered by qualified professionals.
Among those hosting the workshops were: Surrey Police, St John Ambulance, Counter Terrorism Policing – Prevent, Surrey Crimestoppers and Solomon Theatre Company.
As part of the programme, students watched a play by the Solomon Theatre Company entitled 'Last Orders', acted out by young people to highlight issues around alcohol abuse, peer pressure and its consequences.
Surrey Heath Borough Council Children’s Champion Cllr Josephine Hawkins said: “I’d like to thank all the partner organisations involved for their continued support on this invaluable initiative.
“Young Citizen is a brilliantly effective way of helping young people gain the knowledge and skills to lead safe, healthy lives. I enjoyed visiting this year’s event, and I’m sure the students involved have benefitted hugely from this experience.”
The course proved inspirational for pupils too.
Collingwood College Year 7 student Matthew Hadlington said: “We learnt, laughed and focused on the Young Citizen course – it was great at teaching us many things that we needed to know.”
Fellow pupil Jonah Doyle added: “I thought all the lessons were very useful for our later lives.”
Kings College pupil Soniya Bishwakarma said: “It was fun and educational. We learnt to keep safe and to be smart, it was enjoyable and there were lots of people involved,” while fellow Year 7 student Angel Parmar added: “We’ve learnt so much - how to be private on social media, what a crime means, and the dangers of drinking and encouraging others to drink.”
The course is organised and funded by the Safer Surrey Heath Partnership and the schools involved.