A positive and fun approach

Programmes

Crucial Crew is enabling Year 6 students to gain an insight into lifeskills, lessons in personal safety, and crime prevention in a monitored and safe yet immersive environment.

Taking a positive and fun approach, we provide the opportunity for the students to become involved in several scenarios.

Schools book a morning or afternoon session for students, gaining parents’ permission for their child(ren) to attend. The sessions are held in a local venue set up to simulate certain situations.

Crucial Crew and parents

The situations we currently enact as part of the Crucial Crew programme are conducted safely with our programme partners. Some of the scenarios depict potentially dangerous situations, others illustrate life scenarios.

At the ages of 10 and 11 children are likely to be starting to go out without you, their parents. This might be with friends or on their own.

Children who attend Crucial Crew could apply skills learnt from their experience with us if they encounter a similar circumstance in real life.

Agreeing to your child’s attendance at a Crucial Crew day means peace of mind for you with the knowledge that your child will be able to look after themselves with skills they have learnt.

Your child may wish to discuss their day with you, either straight away or sometime in the future. They could ask questions, to which we hope you can provide answers. However, if there are any queries that you don’t know how to respond to, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s school. They will direct you to the appropriate person.

We hope that you, as parents, find the Crucial Crew experience worthwhile. We would like to hear your comments – and whether they are good or bad, they are all welcome. We ask that you send your comments to us via your child’s school.

“Jenny loved the Crucial Crew day she attended through the school, what a great idea and at just the right age to get a better understanding of the world around them.”

Scenarios

Our programme gives young people an idea of many things that they should be aware of when they are out and about – situations which they may find themselves in when they are older. We aim to teach them the skills and knowledge to deal with these situations in an appropriate manner.

Dogs can be great fun, but they must be treated with care and respect. That’s why it’s important to learn the correct way to behave when you’re with one of our canine companions.

Although dogs can’t speak but they can still let you know how they feel. To understand what they’re trying to say, you just need to learn ‘doggy body language’.

Even if your family or friends own dogs that you know well and feel comfortable around, it’s still important to recognise what unknown dogs are feeling.

In this session young people will appreciate how to stay safe around dogs – and to actually meet a real Dogs Trust dog.

Every day we have to deal with the high risk of using our roads. The bald truth is that in 2005 alone there were 3,954 personal injury accidents in Hertfordshire (source Hertfordshire Casualty Report). [Newer stats required]

Young people are particularly vulnerable, whether using roads as a pedestrian, cyclist or car passenger.

In our Road Safety session, we remind children to use their eyes and ears and make sure traffic has stopped before crossing the road. We also it highlight the importance of Be Safe, Be Seen.

Would your child know what to do in the event of a fire? By attending Crucial Crew, they will learn clear fire safety prevention messages as well as what to do should they experience a fire. They will also find out how to organise a fire escape plan.

It is a tragic fact that every year in the UK around thirty children are killed and more than nine hundred injured in accidental house fires. This is often because there is no smoke alarm, or because no adult is there to help the child(ren) and they do not know what to do.

The main cause of house fires is smoking the home.

First aid skills save lives. Working with St John Ambulance at Crucial Crew, children will start to gather a basic understanding of what they can do to help. Skills they will learn include how to deal with a minor injury or a bleeding wound, and what to do if they find someone unconscious.

Our first aid volunteers will also answer questions. Skills learned here have saved lives.

The first of two scenarios presented by the Police covers an all-too-often heard story about children being abducted.

In this case a PCSO or volunteer in plain clothes will be posing as a photo-journalist for the local newspaper and will try to entice the pupils away on the pretext of having their picture taken for a newspaper article. The group will have been pre-warned about not talking to, or going with, someone at the event not wearing a Crucial Crew badge. Did they go? A debrief will be given by the PSCO or PC involved.

Each group of children will be asked to decide whether certain (carefully selected) items are safe or harmful. The intention is to make children more aware of everyday things, without taking them for granted.

The children will discuss whether they have correctly categorised the items and how this can differ depending on who you are. For example, an empty inhaler will be one of the items. Some children will consider this safe because they are asthmatic and use one.  However, for people who are not asthmatic using an inhaler would be harmful and they may put it into the unsafe category.

Further medicine questions answered include: ‘Where should medicines be safely stored?’ and ‘How do you dispose of ‘out of date’ medicines?’

 

Incorporating a video, Game Over, this safety session shows what happens to three children who squeeze through fencing to enter a construction site where houses are being built.

The crucial message is – do not go onto a building site, ever.

The film shows hazardous situations – some obvious, others not. Could this trench collapse or might it be filled with toxic water or chemicals? Would anyone know how and where to find you if there was a problem? During the session the dangers of construction machinery, ladders, scaffolding and the possibility of falling from heights are all explained.

Children are encouraged to talk about the hazards they see and why they think it dangerous, and to try and offer solutions should they see other children on building sites.

Currently operated by train drivers, our rail safety module alerts young people to some of the dangers in and around railway tracks. Our volunteers have real-life experience of the problems young people can cause and the dangers they put themselves in.

Many people are not aware that they can commit a criminal offence by simply going on to the track.

Every year hundreds of people die or are seriously injured playing on or near to railways. Sadly, ‘chicken’ (dares) is still a game some young people will play – and make the ultimate sacrifice

The chances are that your child may know more about IT than you. Do we fully understand what they are doing online? Do we check?

Hertfordshire Constabulary currently run our Crucial Crew attendees through a range of internet scenarios such as online chat rooms, social media and You Tube. The ever-increasing issue of ‘E’ bullying is also tackled, as well as matters the children may raise themselves.

Hosted by our partner UK Power Networks, the Stayin’ Alive scenario aims to reinforce the importance of safety in a fun and meaningful way. The scenario emphasises that electricity is very useful, but it can also be dangerous if not used properly and safely. Electricity should be treated with respect.

Groups familiarise themselves with how electricity gets from the Power station to their home and the equipment involved. Groups are then faced with three different challenges.

  • ‘Danger of Death’ sign – recognise it, think about what it means and where they would find it.
  • I have lost my ball in the sub-station – there is something in front of them to help them retrieve it The ‘Danger of Death’ sign and the emergency telephone number). They are told to ALWAYS ring the emergency number on the sign. Never, ever climb into or poke anything into sub stations.

Identify the Hazards – fishing, kite flying, tree climbing, street lighting etc. to increase awareness of overhead lines, underground cable and substations, plus their own personal safety.

For children who use Makaton for everyday communication,  UK Power Networks’ video will help them to understand how to stay safe around electricity.