Welwyn Hatfield youngsters get to grips with crucial skills

FIRE, first aid, stranger and personal safety are just some of the crucial topics youngsters in Welwyn Hatfield have been getting to grips with.

More than 1,000 schoolchildren, aged 10 and 11, are taking part in the two-week initiative, Crucial Crew – which began on Monday last week.

The scheme helps year six pupils manage dangerous situations in a realistic manner where there will still be an element of risk involved, helping prepare them for adult life.

Based at the University of Hertfordshire, Crucial Crew is run by members of the borough’s Community Safety Partnership (CSP), including Welwyn Hatfield Council, Hertfordshire Constabulary, St John Ambulance and Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

During the morning session on May 19, the Welwyn Hatfield Times spoke to the uni’s student Rezzi Reps, who were giving talks to the children about personal safety, internet safety and common sense.

Magid Elamin, 23, said: “We presented them with a scenario such as speaking to someone on Facebook who they have never met before.

“They were gobsmacked [at the stories they heard] but were very interested and seemed to learn quite a lot.”

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Vicky Houchin, 20, added: “Children seem to listen to advice when a figure of authority reiterates it to them.

“They seemed to find the talk very helpful.”

Cllr Clare Berry, chairman of the CSP, said each session is designed to be fun but interactive, with role playing to bring situations to life.

She added: “This is a fun fortnight but with an important underlying message about [children] being aware of their actions and behaviour in all sorts of situations.

“I’d like to thank all the agencies involved in making this fortnight possible.”