SFRS praised for its role in delivery of community safety event in Portree

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Safe Highlanders is an annual community safety event for young people delivered by multi-agency partners

Safe Highlanders 

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) has been praised for its ongoing support of a successful community youth safety initiative in Portree, Isle of Skye.

Safe Highlanders is an annual education initiative for young people, based on a partnership approach which promotes community safety, health and crime prevention.

There are a number of Safe Highlander events across Highland region and the Portree event, which hosts primary seven pupils from all over Skye and Lochalsh, has been running since 2001.

This year’s event was organised by Police Scotland sergeant Douglas Galloway of Portree Police Station, who has run the event since 2002. It was his last official event before he retires this year.

He praised the role of SFRS, saying: "I have enjoyed being part of a close team of agencies, volunteers and local businesses in delivering this excellent initiative.

"We could not run this event without the commitment shown by Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. The Portree office has never once let us down and this is mainly due to the dedication of Crew Manager Thomas Bowes who participated this year along with Station Manager Paul Edwards.

"Skye and Lochalsh is very much alive with community spirit and inter-agency cooperation. SFRS should be proud of their role in allowing this vital community safety event to run year after year."

Safe Highlanders is organised and run by Police Scotland as part of a core partnership which incorporates a number of public, private and third sector bodies, including Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, the Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association, The Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Health and Safety Executive, British Red Cross, Scottish and Southern Energy and Morrisons Construction.

The event covers a range of community safety topics with a strong focus on enabling children to become more aware of personal safety, avoiding becoming victims of crime, understanding how to react to emergency situations and becoming good citizens.

A range of topics are covered, including road safety, fire safety, water safety, first aid, building site safety, electrical safety and home safety.

The event contributes to the achievement of a number of national outcomes and local outcomes within the Highland Single Outcome Agreement and is strongly supported by Skye and Lochalsh elected representatives.

These objectives are delivered through a range of visual, aural, reading/writing and kinaesthetic learning methods including play, drama and experience around potentially hazardous and life threatening situations.

This event is supported by the local community with Portree Inner Wheel and the Lifeboat Guild providing stewarding along with Portree High School.

Refreshments are donated annually by Dan and Joan Corrigall at Harbour Chip Shop, Portree.

The event, however, could not go ahead without the commitment of Stagecoach Highland who transported children from all primary schools in Skye and mainland schools, including Lochcarron and Glenelg.