Bumper start for annual child safety initiative

Published Wednesday, 16th October 2019

An annual multi-agency initiative which teaches children in Hartlepool how to stay safe is taking place for the 24th time – and there was an unexpected bonus for the first school to take part.

Crucial Crew is taking place at EDF Energy’s Hartlepool Power Station and a total of over 1,230 Year 6 pupils from all Hartlepool’s primary schools will be attending over the course of the two-week event.

It uses a series of practical workshops to help youngsters learn how to react to dangerous situations which they might encounter in their everyday lives, with the issues being covered including road safety, fire safety, home safety and staying safe near water.

Organisations supporting Crucial Crew include Hartlepool Borough Council, EDF Energy, Northern Powergrid, Cleveland Fire Brigade, Cleveland Police, the RNLI, HART and Beamish Open Air Museum.

The Mayor of Hartlepool Councillor Brenda Loynes and Councillor Leisa Smith, Chair of the Council’s Children’s Services Committee, were among those present to welcome the first pupils attending this year’s course, who were from Fens Primary School.

There was also a surprise in store for Fens Primary when Brendan Garvey, the power station’s Performance Improvement Manager, presented the school with a £400 cheque as they were the 40,000th visitor to the site’s Visitor Centre, which opened in 2013.

Some off the Fens Primary School pupils with (back row from left) Joanne Andrews, Brendan Garvey, the Mayor Councillor Brenda Loynes and the her husband and Consort Dennis Loynes and Councillor Leisa Smith.

Some of the Fens Primary School pupils with (back row from left) Joanne Andrews, Brendan Garvey, the Mayor Councillor Brenda Loynes and her husband and Consort Dennis Loynes and Councillor Leisa Smith

Councillor Leisa Smith said: “The safety of our young people in Hartlepool is paramount and this excellent initiative plays a very important part in that.

“Thanks to this marvellous partnership, children learn in a fun way some important lessons which will help protect them right through their lives. Thank you to everyone involved in the initiative and special thanks to EDF Energy for a first class venue and a marvellous surprise for Fens Primary School into the bargain!”

Joanne Andrews, the Council’s Child Injury Prevention Co-ordinator, said: ““We aim to give children knowledge and understanding of dangers that they might come across and the actions they can take to protect themselves.

“It’s amazing that Crucial Crew has now been running for 24 years and I too would like to thank all parties for their ongoing support.”

Craig Dohring, Station Director at Hartlepool Power Station, said: “Once again we are delighted to be hosting the Crucial Crew event in our Visitor Centre and training classrooms.

“It’s a fantastic event which promotes the safety values that we demonstrate here at the power station. The excellent Crucial Crew team presents some serious scenarios, making them fun and in that way the pupils do learn a lot about how to behave calmly in a variety of challenging situations.

“We are very proud of our partnership with Crucial Crew and we hope it will continue for many years to come.”

Craig Keen, Assistant Head Teacher at Fens Primary School, said: “Once again we thoroughly enjoyed our day at Crucial Crew. At Fens, we believe the messages the children receive about keeping themselves and others safe is vitally important. We are very grateful for everyone at Crucial Crew for all their hard work.

“The unexpected donation from EDF Energy will be very well spent. Thank you all for a great day.”