Ards Rural Projects, an Education Authority Youth Service controlled project group this week delivered an exciting ‘Emergency Services Awareness Programme’ targeting young people aged between 11-17 years old living in the Ards Peninsula area, the West Winds, Scrabo, Glen, East End and Bowtown Estates in Newtownards.
The four-day programme, a joint initiative between Ards Rural Projects and Ards Estates Projects ran between Monday 24th July and Thursday 27th July with the aim of highlighting to young people the fundamental role that emergency service organisations play within the local Ards Peninsula community.
The educational programme provided a practical insight into the role of emergency service professionals through a number of live demonstrations delivered by a variety of organisations including The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS), Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Radar NI (Risk Avoidance and Danger Awareness Resource NI).
In addition to these demonstrations, professional youth work staff facilitated the deliverance of tailored workshops to compliment the ‘Emergency Services Awareness Programme’ message and to further instil and encourage young people to think about risk taking and anti-social behaviours that might negatively impact their local community.
Stephen Dallas, Deputy Head of Youth Services, Education Authority commented on the safety initiative;
“The ‘Emergency Services Awareness Programme’ has provided an extremely positive, engaging, educational experience for our young people and I hope it will provide them with vital skills that will assist in helping them to better navigate through life’s challenges in a safe manner.
The hard hitting and realistic nature of the live demonstrations delivered by emergency service staff as part of the programme really encapsulated and brought to life situations that our young people might at some point have to manage and which could, if not managed properly, result in fatalities.
Our young people left with a lasting message about risk and its consequences and an insight into the important role that emergency service staff plays in society.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of the emergency service staff for taking the time to engage with our young people in an innovative and professional manner and the vital resource that they provide to the local Ards Peninsula community.”
The ‘Emergency Services Awareness Programme’ programme was developed following the successful ‘Midnight Madness Programme’, a late night intervention that operates on a monthly basis in Ards Arena from 21.00 – 23.00 on a Saturday evening between September and June.
For further information on becoming involved with the upcoming Midnight Madness Programme beginning in September 2017, please contact Ards Rural Projects on 028 9033 1714.