SFRS receive award from child protection group Safe, Strong and Free
19 September 2016
Highland Area Manager John MacDonald received the Annette Ewen Memorial Trophy on behalf of Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
SFRS Area Manager John MacDonald receives the award from Safe Strong and Free Project Co-ordinator Kerry Glen. Far left Group Manager Fraser Nixon and far right councillor Drew Millar
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was today (16 September 2016) presented with an award from child protection group Safe, Strong and Free at its annual general meeting.
Safe Strong and Free handed over the Annette Ewen Memorial Shield to Area Manager John MacDonald to thank the Service for supporting and raising the awareness of their work and helping reduce the vulnerability of young children to abuse.
Safe, Strong and Free was piloted in 1989 and is a primary abuse prevention program which aims to reduce the vulnerability of young children to abuse and assault.
It was initially only available in the Inverness area but has expanded to include every school in the Highlands.
Every nursery and pre-school child in Highland has access to their workshops, which focus on teaching children to keep themselves safe.
The Safe, Strong and Free team visited Inverness Fire Station back in January this year, on what was dubbed 'Highland Hero Day' to highlight to children that members of the blue light services are there to support children and let them know that uniformed services are there to help and can be trusted, regardless of the influence of their parents or peers. Police Scotland also attended to support the event.
Project Co-ordinator of Safe Strong and Free, Kerry Glen, who presented the award to Area Manager MacDonald and Group Manager Fraser Nixon today at Smithton Community Centre, Inverness, said: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for supporting Safe, Strong and Free on Highland Hero Day.
“Highland Hero Day is all about highlighting to children that members of the blue light services are there to support children and instil the idea that uniformed services are there to help and can be trusted.
“With the help of SFRS Corporate Communications and firefighter colleagues our charity received some great coverage with the local media. This helped raise awareness of our prevention programme and helped children identify an appropriate person to tell in difficult situations.”
She added: “Each year, Safe Strong and Free awards the Annette Ewen Memorial Shield to an organisation that has helped us work towards reducing the vulnerability of young children to abuse and assault. This year, we are pleased to award this trophy to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.”
On accepting the award on behalf of the Service, Area Manager John MacDonald, said: “I am delighted that the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service within the Highland area is able to support Safe Strong and Free and valuable work they do to prevent children from harm.
“We have a large footprint across the Highland area with an establishment of almost 800 staff and it is reassuring that children recognise that they can approach any member of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service as someone they can trust if they need to report requested assistance or support.
“We are proud to accept this award and we will continue to support Safe Strong and Free’s work over the coming months and years.”