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Playing it safe with Crucial Crew

Hundreds of children from across Uttlesford were given lessons about their personal wellbeing as part of a long-running educational initiative.

Crucial Crew

The Crucial Crew programme - which is organised by the Uttlesford Community Safety Partnership and is now in its 23rd year - is aimed at Year 6 children to help them deal with the transition of moving from primary to secondary school.

Almost 900 pupils from 30 schools attended the programme, which was held at St Mark's College, Audley End and held across five days (25-29 June).

It saw the 10 and 11 year olds work through a range of scenarios provided by members of the partnership and others including Essex Police, British Transport Police, Essex County Fire & Rescue Service, Essex County Council's road safety team, Uttlesford District Council, and the First Responders. New to the line-up this year was Gangsline, a helpline and prevention service which delivers hard-hitting workshops on gang culture.

Delivered through workshops, demonstrations and presentations, the sessions covered a wide range of issues such as theft and shoplifting, drugs and alcohol awareness, road and railway safety, fire safety and first aid. The session delivered by Gangsline raised awareness of the realities of the recruitment of young gang members, targeting and befriending, and the false perception of a glamorous lifestyle.

Uttlesford District Council's Communities Manager, Fiona Gardiner, on behalf of the partnership, said: "We want our young people to feel ready for the challenges that they will start to face, and the aim of Crucial Crew is to highlight serious and topical messages about safety in an interactive and engaging way.

"I would like to thank all of our partners and volunteers who gave us a week of their valuable time to deliver the programme, and to the students who were focussed and attentive in all the sessions."

For more information about the work of the Uttlesford CSP, visit

10 July 2018