A campaign which helps schoolchildren to be wise and save lives has welcomed its latest intake.
Crucial Crew brings together a host of organisations to teach youngsters in the town how to stay safe and has launched its course for the 22nd time.
Run from EDF Energy’s Hartlepool Power Station, it will put pupils through their paces until next Thursday.
It uses a series of practical workshops to re-create dangerous situations that children might encounter in their everyday lives, with issues covered including fire safety, digital safety, road safety, home safety, water safety, substance misuse, electrical safety and firework safety.
Almost 1,200 Year 6 pupils from 29 primary schools in Hartlepool are due to attend the workshops over the course of this year’s event.
Among those to support it include Hartlepool Borough Council, HM Coastguard, Northern Powergrid, Cleveland Fire Brigade, EDF Energy, Beamish Museum, Thirteen Group, the RNLI and Hartlepool Youth Council.
We aim to give children knowledge and understanding of dangers that they might come across and the actions they can take to protect themselves.Joanne Andrews
The town’s MP Mike Hill has also visited one of the workshop days to show his backing for the project.
The Mayor and Mayoress of Hartlepool, Councillor Paul Beck and Mary Beck, were present at the launch of the event to welcome the first pupils, who were from Kingsley Primary School.
Coun Beck said: “This is a hugely successful initiative that over the years has done so much to make children in Hartlepool safer as they go about their everyday lives.
“I would like to thank all parties involved for their continued backing and, particularly, EDF Energy for once again providing us with a first-class venue.”
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 is amazing that Crucial Crew has now been running for 22 years and I too would like to thank all parties for their on-going support.”
Craig Dohring, station director of Hartlepool Power Station, said: “Crucial Crew is a great fun way for children to learn about safety.
“This will be the first time I will have had the opportunity to visit the event and I am looking forward to seeing something that has been running for 22 years.
“This is a credit to all those involved in organising and staging Crucial Crew.
“The power station is very proud of its association with Crucial Crew.
“The emphasis that it puts on addressing health and safety issues fits perfectly with all that we do here at Hartlepool and we look to continuing our long association with the event.”