A celebration event was held on 18th July to celebrate 10 years of the popular Junior Wardens Scheme running in Gloucester Schools, which has seen over 300 local children take part.
The innovative scheme was set up in 2009 by Gloucester City Homes (GCH) in partnership with Gloucestershire Constabulary and aims to encourage children aged 9 – 11 to take pride and become more involved in their communities.
Mandi Holt, Community Investment Team Leader at GCH says; “The scheme has been through many changes over the past ten years and has recently been compacted to a shorter 10 week course which allows us to deliver the program to many more pupils. This year alone the course has been delivered to over 70 pupils from six schools.”
“We have seen some real success stories through Junior Wardens and now work with some of the former Wardens in their capacity as well-known influencers within their communities.”
The course includes a wide variety of topics and allows children to get involved with estate inspections, speed checks, litter picks, visiting elderly people at sheltered schemes and planting. They also visit the Mayor, learn about the impacts of anti-social behaviour and benefits of community wildlife. On completion of the course all children are thanked with a reward activity, which is always a highlight for participants.
Chris Jenkinson, PCSO, who runs the sessions added; “It has been a great honour to see the scheme develop from an idea into the full partnership that it is today. 10 years on we continue to work alongside key community assets such as local schools, Together in Matson and The Venture and Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust to name a few.”
“It is brilliant to work with young people who are passionate about our communities and want to make a difference. Through the scheme we can give young people a voice to make positive changes within their areas.”
Helping young people become responsible adults is one of the priorities of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s (PCC) priorities. Martin Surl commented; “It benefits everyone when young people are encouraged to take an active part in their community and this scheme is an excellent example of that. Working closely together will also help our young people develop a positive view of the Police and helps prevent them from making the wrong decisions later in life.”