In Gloucester the Junior Wardens scheme has been running since 2009. The successful scheme was set up by Gloucester City Homes (GCH) in partnership with Gloucestershire Constabulary and aims to encourage young people aged 9 - 11 to become more involved in their community and take pride in the area they live.
Mandi Holt, Community Investment Team Leader at GCH says “The Junior Wardens scheme has recently been compacted to 10 weeks which allows us to deliver the programme to a further 3 schools. This means that in partnership with Gloucestershire Constabulary the course is delivered to around 70 children from 6 schools including Moat, Grange and Robinswood from the Robinswood Academy Trust as well as Coney Hill Primary and Finlay Community Primary. We also hope to start working with pupils from Linden Primary very soon.”
“The course is really popular and over the past 10 years we have seen over 300 local children take part. We are really pleased to work with youths to develop them at the same time as investing within the areas they live and are looking forward to holding a 10 year anniversary celebration later this year.”
The course includes a wide variety of topics and allows the children to get involved with Estate Inspections, speed checks, litter picks, visiting an independent living scheme to serve tea to the elderly and planting. They also visit the Mayor, learn about anti-social behaviour and wildlife. Upon completion of the course all participants are thanked with a reward activity.
Chris Jenkinson, Police Community Support Officer who runs the sessions comments “It has been a great honour to see the Junior Warden Scheme develop from an initial idea into the full partnership programme. 10 years on we continue to work alongside community assets such as local schools, Together In Matson and The Venture.
It is brilliant to see young people who are passionate about our communities and wanting to make a difference. Through the scheme we can give young people a voice to make positive changes within their communities, over the years we have seen a number of young people develop to become positive role models.”
Helping young people become responsible adults is one of the priorities of Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Martin Surl’s general strategy to reduce crime and create more good order.
Mr. Surl said, “It is to everyone’s benefit that young people are encouraged to take an active part in their community and the Junior Wardens Scheme is an excellent example of that.
“Working closely together will also help our young people develop a positive view of the police and help to prevent them from making the wrong decisions later in life”