Youngsters taught how to stay safe in today’s world

Sean Holden

The Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes was on hand last week to greet the first of more than 1,500 schoolchildren from 54 primary schools across West Kent taking part in a series of practical exercises designed to teach them how to stay safe.

It was one of her last public appearances before she steps down after nearly four years in the role. She has decided not to stand in the May 5 elections for the post.

Safety in Action is an interactive event staged at Salomons Estate that runs until next Tuesday (April 26) for Year 6 children. They will learn about some of the dangers they may face as they become more independent and prepare to go on to secondary school including staying safe while using social media.

Co-ordinated by Salus, a Kent-based organisation dedicated to improving the lives of children, the event is supported by Kent Fire and Rescue Service, RNLI, Kent Police, Kent County Council, Drive to Ensure, Hopkins+ and UK Power Networks. All will deliver a range of scenarios designed to highlight safety issues the youngsters may face and how to deal with them.

“This event has been running in Kent since the early 1990s, with several thousand children from, amongst other places, Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Sevenoaks,” said Martin Carter of Salus.

“It’s the second year we have organised an event specifically for West Kent and more than 100 schools from the area were invited to attend.”

The event is funded by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council, Sevenoaks District Council and Kent Fire and Rescue Service.

Andrew Daniells, Chief Operating Officer of Markerstudy, owners of the Salomons Estate, said the venue was perfect for hosting such an important event.

“The grounds of the estate provide the space and safety needed for such a large-scale exercise involving so many youngsters,” he said.

“It is an extremely valuable experience for the children attending and one that we are excited to be hosting.”

For more information on Salus, visit

The supporting organisations set up a variety of scenarios, including:

Fire Safety (Kent Fire and Rescue)

  • Smoke alarms; escape plans; what to do in an emergency

Road Safety (KCC)

  • Keeping safe when walking by roads; how to cross the road safely; distractions

Water Safety (RNLI)

  • Beach safety; warning signs; lifeguard flags; what to do in an emergency

Drugs and Alcohol (designed by Salus, delivered by Kenward Trust)

  • Types and categories of drugs; different effects; peer pressure; NPS (Legal Highs) – ‘legal’ but not safe

Electrical Safety (UK Power Networks)

  • Dangers of electricity; electricity sub-stations; risks of overhead powerlines

Internet Safety (Kent Police)

  • Staying safe online; protecting your identity; how to get help – who to trust

Driver Safety (Drive to Ensure – Markerstudy Group)

  • Consequence of drink driving; how many points new/young drivers can accumulate before they lose their license; average insurance costs for a new/young driver

Emergency Life Support (Heartstart South East Coast – British Heart Foundation)

  • Checking for danger; checking for a response; summoning help; check airway, breathing; start chest compression/place in recovery position.

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