A safety skills course for 9 – 11 year-olds returns to the Richmond Showgrounds this month, building on its work to create a generation of Clued Up Kids in Nelson Tasman.

Clued Up Kids is a multi-agency programme teaching primary school-aged children confidence and life skills to help them stay safe in a range of real-life scenarios.

The event is now in its third year.

From 29 October to 2 November, more than 500 children from Appleby, Nelson Christian, Ranzau, Wakefield, Richmond Primary, Auckland Point, Mahana, and Home School will take part.

The hands-on activities include a ‘shaky house’ for practising what to do in an earthquake, a smoky fire simulation teaching children how to react during a house fire, as well as demonstrations on water safety, interacting with dogs, road safety, quad bikes, truck and cycle safety, as well as first aid.

The agencies involved or providing support include the Tasman District and Nelson City councils, Nelson Bays Primary Health, Police, Fire Emergency NZ, Civil Defence, New Zealand Red Cross, CET Landskills, TNL and Neltech. Rotary and the Richmond Lions provide volunteers. Thanks also to Benge and Co for providing fresh fruit to the children as they move around the two-hour interactive programme.

Clued Up Kids coordinator Jo Perrett explained: “The children are of an age where they’re becoming increasingly independent and therefore more likely to encounter situations where there may not be an adult around to tell them what to do. Clued Up Kids gives them the tools to keep themselves safe.”

Jo said agencies working with young people had reported greater levels of student knowledge about what to do in an emergency from those who had been involved with Clued Up Kids in previous years.

Senior Constable Susan Finigan of Nelson police said she was impressed by the knowledge of young people during recent Keeping Ourselves Safe sessions in Nelson Tasman schools.

“I personally think the programme has a long lasting impact on the tamariki and their recall impressed on me we have given them life skills they will never forget.”