Harwich Town Council

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Crucial crew continues to deliver safety messages to children

A programme giving important safety messages to children in Tendring is continuing this year.

Crucial Crew teaches youngsters how to stay safe in a variety of ways, from online to in the home, and while out and about.

In previous years Crucial Crew has been delivered in the Princes Theatre, with Year 6 pupils from schools around Tendring visiting for the workshops – but due to Covid-19 the programme is being delivered virtually this year.

The online pre-recorded lesson uses the NSPCC’s PANTS rule, with each letter representing an important message for children to help them stay safe. Issues tackled include domestic and child abuse, knife crime and exploitation, all in an age-appropriate way.

Lynda McWilliams, Tendring District Council Cabinet Member for Partnerships and Chairwomen of the Tendring Community Safety Partnership, said the central theme was about teaching children to be safe.

“Through Crucial Crew young people learn about safe and unsafe secrets, the appropriateness or otherwise of body contact, as well as being taught to recognise the emotions that may occur when they feel unsafe,” Cllr McWilliams said.

“These online sessions are engaging throughout and allow pupils to have in-depth discussions about the topics, which really reinforces the key safety messages and allows them to build a personal network so they know who to approach if they have a problem.”

Debbie Byles, Deputy Headteacher at Harwich Community Primary School, added:

“Crucial Crew is a really well put together piece of work, giving us the opportunity to talk about safe relationships and explore the topics covered.

“In spite of the pandemic and us not being able to attend a physical workshop, the online sessions have great value and felt like a ‘mini event’ which enabled me to really discuss with my pupils their thoughts and views.”

A total of 29 schools in the district are signed up to receive Crucial Crew by the end of January 2021.

Crucial Crew is this year provided by Loudmouth Education and Training.