The Alde Valley Academy in Leiston is the first school in Suffolk to trial a new training initiative aimed at keeping young people safe.
Crucial Crew Plus is a new safety initiative aimed at high school pupils, focusing on how to stay safe in all aspects of life and includes self harm, cybercrime, sex education, substance misuse, grooming and healthy relationships, apprenticeships, realities of crime, self-esteem confidence and anxiety.
The training builds on the success of the one day training primary schools are invited to attend each year, Crucial Crew, and is provided to all year groups.
The training is made up of short presentations and interactive sessions which are supported by a number of local organisations including Suffolk Police, Suffolk Coastal District Council’s Active Communities team, Suffolk Wellbeing Service, Access Community Trust, Terence Higgins Trust, Turning Point, Suffolk Coastal Communities team, Suffolk Road Safety, and the Youth Offending Service.
The training teaches children how to tackle the personal dangers they face and helps to prevent them from becoming involved in crime. It delivers hard hitting messages to young people on issues affecting them most, such as sexting, drug and alcohol misuse, grooming and gang violence.
Cllr Steve Gallant, cabinet member for Community Health and Suffolk Coastal Community Safety Partnership Chair, said: “As chair of the Community Safety Partnership I understand the challenges that young people face in today’s society. Providing information and starting conversations is a great way to begin to build the life skills necessary for them to cope.
“Having followed a group throughout the morning, I can see first-hand the benefits of Crucial Crew Plus and the dedication of the staff involved – so I would like to thank everyone for their hard work and dedication. I hope this is something that could be provided to more schools in this area in the future.”
Dan Mayhew, Assistant Principle at Alde Valley Academy, said: “'Alde Valley Academy is committed to keeping our young people safe and educating them to make the right decisions both inside and outside of school.
“Working closely with specialist agencies in planning and delivering a day like this has been a pleasure. Feedback from the students was extremely positive as they enjoyed the sessions which were also extremely informative. We look forward to working with Crucial Crew in the near future.”