North Devon councils combine to present life skills event for youngsters

MORE than 1,000 children from North Devon and Torridge have been learning how to put out fires, save lives and stay safe at Fremington Army Camp over the last two weeks. This is the fifth year that the two district councils have jointly organised the Jun

MORE than 1,000 children from North Devon and Torridge have been learning how to put out fires, save lives and stay safe at Fremington Army Camp over the last two weeks.This is the fifth year that the two district councils have jointly organised the Junior Life Skills event, which shows students in their last year of primary school how to cope with day-to-day dangers and real-life emergencies. A range of short scenarios were designed to give the children first hand experience of how to deal with a range of different situations.This year's event also included information about recycling from Mrs Recycle and anti-social behaviour from the Youth Inclusion Support Programme (YISP).The scenarios were provided by Devon and Cornwall Police, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, Devon Primary Care Trust, British Red Cross, Maritime Coastguard Agency, Western Power and YISP, as well as North Devon and Torridge District Council's Environmental Health and recycling teams and Devon County Council waste management team.Cllr Pat Barker, North Devon's Lead Member for Environmental Health, said: "The council was delighted to be involved in organising this annual event once again. The young people I saw were really enjoying themselves as well as learning how to protect themselves from common real-life dangers. They also had the benefit of meeting most of the public services that are there to protect them, so they know who to get in touch with in the event of an emergency."Cllr Mrs Margaret Brown, chairman of Torridge District Council, said: "It's a wonderful opportunity for the children to take home valuable skills and knowledge they will keep for ever. We heard of an incident in Ilfracombe last year, where a lady had fallen and was unconscious. Some teenagers found her and put her in the recovery position. The paramedics who attended the scene said the youngsters had probably saved her life. When asked how they knew what to do, they replied 'we learnt that at Junior Life Skills'. So yes, this event does make a difference and I hope it will continue to make a difference for many more children in the future."This year looks like it will be the last year that the army camp hosts the event, following the recent announcement that it is to close in October. North Devon and Torridge councils will be looking for alternative venues and are confident that the event will continue next year.www.northdevon.gov.uk


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