Junior Life Skills is a scheme, funded by South Hams District Council, which has run annually for over 23 years. In its lifetime, it has taught nearly 30,000 pupils aged 10 - 11 years.

Junior Life Skills

The scheme is an important milestone in students taking more independence before they move up to secondary education and challenges children in 'real-life' scenarios which teach essential safety lessons and helps to prevent issues from developing.  This gives the students the opportunity to learn crucial life skills.

A total of 809 children engaged in small groups with a range of agencies such as the Police, Fire Brigade, RNLI, BT, Western Power, the Dogs Trust, the Royal Life Saving Society and South Hams District Council.

During their visit, the children gained an understanding of personal safety and community responsibility, as well as an awareness of health and safety issues.

The program contains interactive learning experiences where children discuss hazards in a wide range of different situations from fully trained volunteers and learn the most appropriate actions to take and how to develop social responsibility. 

In each scenario, children faced a danger they could encounter at any time. They covered issues such as safety on the moors and around water, telephone awareness, using virtual reality to learn about keeping safe around electricity, and watched a powerful video on internet safety which helps to reduces exploitation through online grooming.  South Hams District Council encouraged the children to think about the importance of recycling properly.

Cllr Jonathan Hawkins, Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing at South Hams District Council, said: "Junior Life Skills is an important event in the calendar for our youngest residents.  What they learn during their sessions helps them to be more equipped if they find themselves in a dangerous situation.  Skills such as CPR, water and internet safety, amongst others will help them to help themselves and others as you just never know when an emergency might happen."

Cllr Tom Holway, South Hams District Council's Community Safety Partnership representative, said: "Keeping the community safe is a really important part of my role.  Days like these when we help residents to stay safe and well is really crucial and I thoroughly enjoy being involved.  We couldn't do these events however without the support of our partners and local agencies, so thanks go to them for their help and support."

Mr Paul Jacobson, teacher from Loddiswell Primary School, said: "It's great to see so many organisations delivering workshops for the children.  Everyone was engaged and learnt a lot through a very enjoyable morning."

If you would like to get involved with next year's Junior Life Skills, contact Louisa Daley at louisa.daley@swdevon.gov.uk or Dotty King on juniorlifeskills@outlook.com

Issued: 14 October 2019