PRIMARY school children from across Swindon are learning the importance of fire safety, thanks to Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service.

The Service is working with colleagues from Wiltshire Police, Swindon Borough Council and other partners to run the Junior Good Citizen programme for some 1,500 Year Six students (10 and 11 year olds), drawn from 37 schools.

Junior Good Citizen is designed to help children avoid putting themselves at risk of accident or injury, by raising their awareness of situations where something could happen. It also encourages them to respond appropriately to emergency situations, and shows how being a ‘good citizen’ can create a safer community.

Youth engagement advisors from Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service will be running an exercise where children enter a room set up like a bedsit. The children work in small teams to identify the hazards and feedback to the ‘homeowner’ the issues they have identified, as well as solutions to the problems.

Debbie Lowe, one of the advisors running the scenario, said that the emphasis was on having an interactive, fun learning experience before moving from primary to secondary school.

She said: “Before the schools come to Junior Good Citizen, they receive a visit from the Fire & Rescue Service to start the process of learning fire safety.

"When the children are with us, they can reinforce what they have learnt at school in a practical environment. This encourages them to actively participate in the visit and to think for themselves, whilst also teaching them valuable fire safety information.”

Junior Good Citizen is being held at the Punjabi Community Centre, Cricklade Road, Swindon from 2-13 June. The scheme will then move to Wiltshire, where it will run at the Scout Headquarters in Potterne Wick from June 23 to July 4.