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A road safety session with young people from Pensby High School in Wirral.
More than 1,000 local young people have now benefited from a hard-hitting programme to raise awareness of the dangers they face on the road as pedestrians, passengers or young drivers.
Interactive education sessions, led by Watch Manager Jez Williamson and involving the multi-agency Road Safety Team, have been staged at several schools and colleges over the last year with the overall aim to reduce the number of young casualties on Wirral’s roads.
Part of the session involves the young people being invited to take part in a “forensic” examination of a crashed car with representatives of the partner agencies, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Road Safety Team, Merseyside Police and Wirral Council’s Road Safety team.
They are then given the opportunity to discuss their findings as to the potential reasons why the collision might have taken place, what injuries would have been caused and how such incidents can have significant short, medium and long term impacts on a range of people, including families and friends.
During the sessions, students are encouraged to ask questions in confidence that they may not previously had the courage to ask in order to gain a wider, deeper understanding of common risks and consequences of car crashes.
Watch Manager Williamson, who is based at Bromborough Community Fire Station, took part in the work as part of his partnership role that he undertakes as a Fire Community Safety Officer (FCSO) where he is embedded in Wirral Council’s Road Safety Team.
He said: “These sessions have proved to be a great success and
have even caused parents to write to their MP requesting that they be considered for adding to school curriculum, which is high praise indeed. The fact is that 17 to 24-year-olds are more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a Road Traffic Collision than by any other means, and the single biggest killer of young females is young males who are driving a vehicle. This is why I have been keen to target Wirral sixth forms and give them some insight into the risks involving young people in cars.''
The latest session took place at Pensby High School, involving 140 students. Previous sessions have been staged at Bebington High, Birkenhead Sixth Form College, St Mary’s Catholic College, Wallasey, Mosslands School, Birkenhead School and St Anselm’s College.
Thanks to funding from the Public Health Outcomes Fund, WM Williamson has been seconded to work with schools and colleges alongside colleagues from Merseyside Police and the Council’s Road Safety Team to educate young drivers and young passengers.
Councillor Stuart Whittingham, Wirral Council’s Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, attended a recent event at St Mary’s. He said: “The idea behind the project is to raise awareness and deliver key messages about road safety in order to change the attitudes and behaviour amongst young people about driving. Learning to drive and having the independence of your own vehicle is a massive thing for young people but it’s important they realise the potential consequences of being involved in a collision.”
Further sessions are planned at Wirral Grammar School for Girls, Wirral Grammar School for Boys and South Wirral High School.
Families were invited along to a spring garden party at Seacombe Children’s Centre which was organised by our Service.
More than 300 people, including the Mayor of Wirral, Councillor Les Rowlands, attended the event, which offered a wide variety of advice and support for families.
The event was organised by Watch Manager Eddie Parry, for Wirral Family Intervention Services (FIS), with the assistance of Seacombe Children’s Centre and other stakeholders.
Watch Manager Parry said: “The event was well attended and many people received Home Fire Safety advice from MF&RS advocates.
“The children at the event had their teeth checked by a local dentist and got a free healthy teeth lucky bag.
“Merseyside Police supported the event and their mascot Bobby the Helmet made an appearance and young mothers received advice from one-to-one midwives on childcare.
“I would like to thank all involved in supporting this event. It is only possible with the team approach.”
Children’s Centres in Wirral encouraged a large number of families to come along from the surrounding areas.
Watch Manager Parry added: “Events like these allow us to proactively engage with the local community. Also, this raises awareness and helps to improve firefighter safety in our communities through partnership working and intervention.”
Photo supplied by Jez Williamson.
Watch Manager Eddie Parry with partners and visitors at the spring party at Seacombe Children’s Centre. Photo supplied by Eddie Parry.

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