Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey Ellie Vesey-Thompson has supported the launch of a new programme of community safety education for children in Surrey’s schools.
Aimed at year six pupils aged between 10 and 11 years old, the Safer Communities Programme includes new materials for teachers to use as part of the Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) classes that students receive to stay healthy and prepare for later life.
They have been developed in partnership between Surrey County Council, Surrey Police and Surrey Fire and Rescue Service.
Digital teaching resources available through the programme will boost the education that young people receive on themes including keeping themselves and others safe, protecting their physical and mental health and being a good community member.
Complementing the work of Surrey County Council’s Healthy Schools, the resources follow evidence based and trauma-informed practise principles that are focused on building a strong foundation of personal wellbeing and resilience that young people can use throughout life.
Examples include recognising their right to say ‘no’ or change their mind in a challenging situation, understanding healthy relationships and knowing what to do in an emergency.
Developed with direct feedback from young people and schools over the last year, the programme is being rolled out across all Surrey boroughs in 2023.
It comes after the Commissioner’s team successfully bid for almost £1m of funding from the Home Office that will be used to provide specialist in-school training to deliver classes on preventing violence against women and girls. It also follows the recent launch of Surrey’s new dedicated Youth Commission on Policing and Crime, led by Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Ellie Vesey-Thompson.
Ellie, who leads the Commissioner’s focus on increasing support for and engaging with young people, said: “I am really excited to support this brilliant programme, that will directly enhance the support that teachers across the county can access from the whole community safety partnership in Surrey.
“Our office has worked closely with the Council and partners on this project, that supports the priority in our Police and Crime Plan to improve the opportunities for young people in the county to stay safe and be able to access help when needed.
“We are really pleased that the new materials developed within this project represent the voices of the young people and teachers who will benefit from them, and that they are focused on the early practical skills and resilience that individuals can take into life to tackle a range of situations. I hope these will help deliver memorable lessons that lead to building healthy relationships, discussions on making healthy choices that reduce the vulnerabilities that criminals exploit, and the simple message that the police and others are there for you when you need them.”
Find out more about the programme and request access to the Digital Teaching Resource on the Safer Communities Programme webpage at https://www.healthysurrey.org.uk/community-safety/safer-communities-programme