South Thames Students are Model Citizens For Primary Students

Public Services students help to deliver a Junior Citizenship Programme

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The scheme, now in its 23rd year is organised by Wandsworth Council, the Metropolitan Police, the London Fire Brigade and the Ambulance Service. Students assist the emergency service staff by acting as villains or victims in various scenarios to primary school children.

Each year, the programme is delivered to over 2000 primary school children aged between 9 and 12 across the borough. Scenarios vary from a stranger in the street to rail and water safety. Amongst other topics, children are educated about substances, vandalism and first aid. South Thames students have helped by answering simulated 999 calls and playing the role of a robber, stranger or casualty.

Tatiana Martins, a Public Services student at the college commented “We are treated as employees of the emergency services. It has taught me how to act professionally, helped my timekeeping and I now understand how the emergency services respond to situations.

“It’s also a great opportunity for us to speak with professionals in the industry. The emergency service staff have been telling us about their roles and preparing us for working life in the services when we leave college.”

So what do the services get out of it? PC Geraldine who assists in delivering the scheme said “The scheme allows us to work closely with students who will potentially join 1 of the 3 emergency services. It’s their opportunity to work with young people from the borough and their input enhances the scheme greatly.”

Paul Cummins of the London Fire Brigade agreed that the scheme was an invaluable learning experience to both the local children and the college students. He said “Students get to play casualties and role play in different situations. They have an insight into our job roles and can see the situations from an integrated approach by learning how the emergency services work together. It’s definitely preparing them for working life in a pressurised environment”.

Three years ago the scheme was accredited by ROSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), which enhances the credibility of the programme and acknowledges the benefits the scheme gives to the local community. The programme has now secured the Atheldene Centre in Wandsworth as a location to hold the programme for the next three years; fantastic news for the organisers.

March 11, 2010