"It's brilliant! There's loads of things to do over the summer, something to suit everyone from youth clubs and arts and crafts, to a wide range of sports."
"Summer can be boring. But safe4summer is all about learning new skills and hanging around with your friends doing fun things. It's really good!"
"I know people who get into trouble when they're bored, but it's just not worth it. I prefer to play sports with my mates. It's great because a lot of activities are free, as well."
By the sounds of it, safe4summer has won the unqualified support of pupils from Shevington High School! And with good reason.
Because the annual summer campaign which aims to keep young people safe, engaged in positive activities and out of trouble over the school holiday period is back. And this year, there's even more on offer – from climbing and archery to craft and dance workshops. And what is more, many activities are free.
As well as signposting kids to activities, safe4summer encourages young people to think about the impact anti-social behaviour can potentially have on the wider community – from the risks associated with starting deliberate fires to the potentially life threatening knock-on effects of making hoax calls to the emergency services.
Led by Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service, the campaign calls on the support of local partners, including Wigan Council, Greater Manchester Police and various community groups, to ensure kids right across the borough stay safe4summer.
But the annual campaign, which covers all ten local authorities in Greater Manchester, is about more than simply diverting young people away from dangerous or anti-social behaviour. It’s also about getting them to consider some of the issues that are important to them, from healthy eating and alcohol consumption to sex education and bullying.
And of course, it’s also about making sure young people have fun whilst spending time with mates in a safe environment. That’s why safe4summer.com encourages young people to check out things to do – from learning new skills to taking part in a raft of free sports, activities and volunteering opportunities.
Wigan Borough Commander at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, Steve Sheridan, says:
"Our aim with safe4summer is to help everyone enjoy this time of year safely and responsibly, whilst ensuring resources are available to respond to real emergencies.
"Sadly, some young people find their summer holidays are memorable for all the wrong reasons. safe4summer gets them thinking about many potential dangers, from the risks associated with starting small fires, to the often irresistible but tragic lure of dangerous buildings and open water.”
Superintendent Andrea Jones from Greater Manchester Police, Wigan Division, adds:
“It might feel like high jinks, but what looks like harmless fun could be making other people’s lives miserable. Whilst adults are responsible for the vast majority of anti-social behaviour in our borough, there is a small minority of young people who get involved in dangerous or inconsiderate behaviour.
“We will always deal robustly with people whose behaviour causes distress, intimidation and nuisance to other members of the community.”
“Partners have a strong track record in reducing anti-social behaviour and we are committed to ensuring our neighbourhoods remain safe for everybody this summer.,” says Cllr Kevin Anderson, Wigan Council’s cabinet champion for communities.
'Positive activities for young people'
'inspiring role models'
Pictured: The champions of the Macquarie National Table Cricket Competition 2012 from Oakfield High School and College from Hindley Green, who took the 2012 title after seeing off stiff competition from Victoria Education and Sports College (Poole) in a repeat of the 2011 final to claim the National title.
"Many young people spend the summer involved in positive activities and contribute to society by taking part in a range of community projects. These youths act as inspiring role models for others, and play a vital role in influencing the perception of young people in the community," he adds.
“Engagement can be as beneficial as enforcement when it comes to tackling the issue of youth-related anti-social behaviour,” adds Cllr Susan Loudon, cabinet portfolio holder for children and young people. “That’s why campaigns like safe4summer are so important, by signposting young people to information on personal safety and social responsibility, as well as telling them about all the positive activities available to them."
The safe4summer website also features a thought-provoking video which urges young people to show respect for others whilst asking parents to play a greater role in checking what their kids are up to over the summer.
The safe4summer campaign is supported by Linc Online, Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust’s youth information site which is produced in partnership with the Council’s Youth Service and local young people.
For more information go to the safe4summer pages.