A community safety project for youngsters, which is managed by Safer Wyre Forest and The ContinU Trust, has won a national award.

The Community Ambassador Project scooped the Young Persons Safety Award in the Suzy Lamplugh National Personal Safety Awards 2017.

The Awards celebrate and recognise the hard work of individuals and groups who, through their work and commitment to personal safety, make a real contribution to keeping people safe.

There are more than sixty 14 and 15 year olds involved in the Community Ambassador Project.  The youngsters take part in a year of events. They work to communicate positive messages within their schools about community safety, citizenship, wellbeing and health. One of the Ambassadors’ main roles is to convey personal safety messages about keeping safe when out and about.  They take part in campaigns such as National Personal Safety Day, Safer Internet Day, Anti-Bullying Week and the White Ribbon Campaign, which raises awareness of domestic abuse.

The project involves The Bewdley School and Sixth Form Centre, King Charles I School, Stourport High School, Wolverley CE Secondary School, Baxter Business and Enterprise College, Hagley Roman Catholic High School and Haybridge High School and Sixth Form.  It was set up in 2014 and is funded by a grant from the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner.

Safer Wyre Forest is managed by Wyre Forest District Council.  Community Safety & Partnerships Officer Kathryn Underhill and project lead Jeanette Lane received the award from Jacqui Hames, former presenter of BBC Crimewatch for 16 years and a former Metropolitan Police Detective for 25 years at the ceremony held at Church House Conference Centre in Westminster.

Kathryn said: “I am so proud of all the Ambassadors – and everyone involved in the scheme. To win such an important national award demonstrates the fantastic working partnership we have here in Wyre Forest which is raising awareness of community safety issues among our young people.”

Rob Chadwick, Director, The ContinU Trust said: ‘The scheme has given lots of pupils new skills and supported ContinU schools in communicating many key messages to our communities. We are delighted to be working alongside Safer Wyre Forest and see the efforts of all those involved acknowledged by this award’.

There are many positive outcomes for youngsters who take part in the project. Jess Barratt took part in the scheme at Stourport High School. She said:

“I wanted to help people and felt that with this role I could make a difference.  It has been a really good experience and I’ve enjoyed it because it’s given me lots more confidence when talking to others and I’ve learnt new skills during the role.”

The Community Ambassadors are currently producing a film to raise awareness of their role within their schools. Their website www.communityambassadors.org.uk showcases the work they have been doing.

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust website also features advice on staying safe at www.suzylamplugh.org