Pioneering scheme helping keep borough’s children safe

Published: Friday 13th October 17

Around 1,200 children from schools across the borough are being given special lessons on how to stay safe and avoid dangerous everyday situations.

The ten-year-olds are taking part in the borough’s Junior Citizen scheme which has been running across Wandsworth’s schools for just under 30 years.

The two-week scheme is staged twice a year and teaches the borough’s year five pupils how to cope with dangerous and potentially life threatening situations they could encounter in everyday life. One thousand two hundred pupils are taking part in this latest round of the scheme.

The scheme involves the children play active roles in 12 different “real life” scenarios. These include avoiding so called “stranger danger” situations, the risks of online grooming, keeping safe in the kitchen and the hazards of playing on or near railway lines or near lakes and rivers.

Often what is learnt in one scenario will be reinforced in another. For example, children are taught how to identify dangerous drugs, and are then led into a 'derelict house' scenario where those substances are present.

Other aspects of the scheme include lessons on how to make a 999 call, escape a fire and also on how to be a good citizen, such as helping elderly neighbours.

Attendees receive a learning pack that includes an activity booklet which reinforces the messages they have been taught in each scenario and a teacher's pack outlines a range of ideas and projects that can be used in the classroom to extend learning and reinforce key messages.

Wandsworth's Junior Citizen is the longest running scheme of its kind in the UK. It is also one of only a handful throughout the UK to be officially accredited by RoSPA - The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents - in recognition of the high standard of the scheme's delivery.

Junior Citizen is funded and run by the council as part of an ongoing collaboration between the council's community safety department, its public health team and other council services, the Metropolitan Police, the London Fire Brigade, St John Ambulance and British Transport Police.

To find out more about the scheme, or if you are a local business or community group that would like to become involved, visit

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