Lights, camera, action as Epping Forest Youth Council premiere’s its films on safety for young people.
A glittering red carpet premiere launched Epping Forest Youth Council’s latest project, We R Safe.
Youth councillors produced 5 short films highlighting support and guidance for young people to build confidence and resilience around their personal safety.
An impressive list of guest speakers were in attendance including the High Sherriff of Essex, Dr James Bettley, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Michael Chapman, Chief Constable Benjamin-Julien Harrington, deputy Fire Police and Crime commissioner, Jane Gardner, 2 former High Sheriffs of Essex and Councillor Richard Bassett, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council.
The evening kicked off with a red carpet route to a reception at the council’s civic offices. Dress code was strictly smart with optional black tie, just like the BAFTAs!
The 5 Rs
The films were premiered in the council chamber. They covered 5 Rs – Realise, Run, Report, Resist, Resilience.
- Realise – remain alert and aware of your surroundings at all times, be alert, not distracted (watch Realise)
- Run – don’t worry about your image, if your instincts tell you to run away … then run (watch Run)
- Report – don’t waste time, report it, 999, 101, 0800 555 111, Text 61016, 0800 789 321 (watch Report)
- Resist – support services for young people include #consequences, an Epping Forest District Council initiative delivered to all secondary schools in the district (watch Resist)
- Resilience – bouncing back from difficult experiences by seeking help from the many support services and community groups in the district (watch Resilience)
This innovative project grew out of a consultation with 80 secondary school pupils at the 2017 youth conference and a subsequent debate at an Epping Forest Youth Council meeting. It links with their earlier drugs awareness project and some of its findings.
Being a young person is not easy
Council chairman Richard Bassett praised the youth councillors for their insight and hard work in delivering the project. “Being a young person is not easy any more. Phones, the internet, social pressures and groups trying to exploit young people mean they need support and the Youth Council is doing an absolutely amazing job.”
Increasing awareness of risks
Councillor Nigel Bedford, cabinet member for Community and Partnerships said: “We cannot stop our children being exposed to challenging situations. We hope that increasing awareness of the risks and problems that can occur will help our young people to make better decisions, and as a result achieve better outcomes.”
Certificate of Recognition
The project scooped an award and a grant of £1,000 from the High Sherriff of Essex earlier this year. The High Sheriff Dr James Bettley also presented the Youth Council with a certificate of Recognition on the night as a token of appreciation for their contribution to the life of the community and to the County of Essex, and in particular for the We R Safe project.