Students from Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester took part in some thought-provoking and extremely valuable sessions with CELLS (Choices, education, lifelong learning skills) as part of their ITSUP2U Initiative. CELLS’ awareness sessions offer a proactive approach to crime prevention and reducing offending.
CELLS relies a great deal on the testimony of people who have been affected by crime to relay their experience to youngsters as a deterrent. These testimonies are fundamental in the success of their awareness and prevention strategy.
CELLS’ primary objective is to educate children and young people on the consequences of crime. Enabling them an informed choice and encouraging them to understand personal responsibility and embrace positive diversionary alternatives, including recreational and vocational activity.
“The workshops were focused on the challenges faced by young people due to crime and antisocial behaviour in local communities,” explained Mrs Michelle Shields from Saint Paul’s. “It is often the choices young people make during their formative years that decide the path they take through life and we want to ensure that they have the information they need to make proper informed decisions and that they can recognise and avoid exploitation and stay safe.”
Topic covered in the sessions included:
1) Gun Gang and Knife Crime
2) Controlling & Exploitative Relationships including CCE, CSE, County Lines, Grooming & overall manipulation
3) Drugs and Alcohol
4) Prison and Prison Life
5) Family Perspective
6) Victim Impact
7) Stop and Search
8) Peer Pressure and Bullying
9) Hate crime
Mr Tim Harris, Year 10 Progress Leader said: “The day provided some extremely valuable messages and the students were left with a greater sense of personal power and with the knowledge and skills needed to recognize and survive the many challenges ahead of them.”
“The crime prevention sessions were designed to capture the attention of our students and ensure that they were fully engaged in the sessions,” commented Mr Alex Hren, Head Teacher at Saint Paul’s. “We need to do everything we can to support and protect the next generation.”