Safety first in the park

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SAFETY is the watchword for primary sevens across East Renfrewshire this week.

An estimated 1,200 children will attend the annual Safety in the Park event between August 16 and 31 – a volunteer-led, hands-on lesson on safety outside of school.

The Extra joined the new P7s from Carolside primary on their educational day out at Arthurlie House in Barrhead.

The Clarkston school was the latest to tackle topics such as drugs, road safety, vandalism, staying safe while surfing the net and encountering strangers – helped along by volunteers from Strathclyde police and fire and rescue, East Renfrewshire libraries, Scottish Power and more.

Victoria Regan (11) and Daniel France (10) were surprised by how much they learned at a talk on cyber bullying.

Daniel told The Extra: “I’ve been really surprised by how much I’ve learned so far – especially about being online, and that people can take your photos and use them for anything they want to.

“I think I’ll be safer on the internet, now that I know more about the dangers”.

Victoria added: “I’ve learned how bad cyber bullying is – and never to share my password on the internet”.

Classmate Cameron Forry (11) enjoyed a visit to the vandalism bus, and learning about what to do when faced with an emergency onboard.

He added: “You can learn maths and English in a classroom, but you learn more about staying safe when you’re out and about by coming here and listening to experts”.

The Carolside youngsters were joined at Arthurlie House by a special guest, East Ren MP Jim Murphy, who praised the dedication of the volunteers organising the event.

He told The Extra: “This is an important day in the calendar for primary sevens across East Renfrewshire.

“It gives youngsters a chance to come to a great facility in Barrhead and learn about outdoor safety, and about the dangers they can come across in their own homes.

“It deals with the fears so many parents have – my kids have been through it and they really enjoyed it.

“What’s fantastic is that it’s organised by volunteers – adults who give up their time to work with police officers and local groups because they want to help keep young people safe”.