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Hundreds of pupils learn how to be Safe Highlanders


By Staff Reporter- NOSN


RNLI education manager Laura Erskine teaches P7s how to float and remain calm should they fall into water.
RNLI education manager Laura Erskine teaches P7s how to float and remain calm should they fall into water.

Pupils from across the north learned how to keep themselves and others safe at this year’s Safe Highlanders event in Wick.

The two-day event at the Assembly Rooms was opened by Inspector Alasdair Goskirk of Police Scotland and attended by 299 primary seven pupils from 18 schools.

It was coordinated by partners from High Life Highland, Highland Council and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Pupils visited eight sets where they were given a key safety message to remember by partner agencies. Staff from Police Scotland, Wipro, SSEN, Caithness Drug and Alcohol Forum, NHS, Highland and Moray Accredited Training Services (HiMATS), the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, RNLI and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service also supported the event.

Pupils learned from HiMATS staff how to deal with a choking situation.
Pupils learned from HiMATS staff how to deal with a choking situation.

Nineteen pupils from Wick and Thurso high schools assisted as young leaders, working towards Saltire volunteering and High Life Highland leadership awards.

Inspector Goskirk reflected on his own childhood, and told pupils how his course in life could have been very different had he not listened to the advice of adults.

Inspector Goskirk said: “It was a privilege to be asked to open the two-day Safe Highlander 2019 event and to personally welcome the Tuesday morning group of 75 primary seven children to the Wick Assembly Rooms for what would be an interesting and informative morning not only for them but for the other 224 primary seven children from all over Caithness and north Sutherland who attended the other three sessions.

Pupils learned of the dangers of drugs from Caithness Drug and Alcohol Forum chairperson Siobhan Gunn, as well as trying 'mocktails' – a healthy and fruity alternative to alcohol.
Pupils learned of the dangers of drugs from Caithness Drug and Alcohol Forum chairperson Siobhan Gunn, as well as trying 'mocktails' – a healthy and fruity alternative to alcohol.

“It is only right that I acknowledge that the Caithness and North Sutherland Safe Highlander has been running now for 18 years and I would like to recognise the effort and commitment of all the organisers, set providers and volunteers who have, over the 18 years, made the event the success that it is.”

High Life Highland’s youth development officer Keith Moncur said: “We always aim to improve the event year on year, and this year we were especially delighted with improvements to the water safety, and drug and alcohol awareness sets.”



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