A PLAY and interactive stalls helped raise awareness among a New Milton school’s pupils around issues including knife crime and youth violence.
Arnewood School recently hosted the safeguarding fair, attended by all of its youngsters, along with those from sister school Eaglewood, as part of Hampshire Safeguarding Children Week.
The event, in the Gore Road facility’s gym, was held in conjunction with Hampshire Police Education Partnership Team.
Stalls included Solent Mind, NHS YP’s Social Prescribers, Yellow Door and the violence reduction unit from the Hampshire police and crime commissioner’s office.
One popular attraction was Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service’s investigation dogs, two of which were puppies in training.
A drama production called Breaking the Chain was staged by Narrative Alchemy to educate students about knife crime and youth violence.
It was part-funded by Arnewood Sixth Leadership Team with a ‘sponge the teacher’ fundraiser.
Head teacher Jamie Anderson hailed the success of the fair, organised by assistant head Alex Reece.
“By opening young people’s eyes to potential threats and giving them advice and practical skills, our students will be better prepared to avoid them,” he said.
“Bringing in outside agencies and organisations makes the messaging more powerful and I know how much our students gained from it.”
Youngsters were given engagement cards, which were stamped by each stall after taking part in a conversation or activity. Completed cards went into a prize draw to win Amazon vouchers.
Mr Anderson added: “It was the first fair of its kind held at Arnewood and proved a really valuable experience for our students.”