For the third year, the Housing Executive has funded an initiative that tackles the issues of crime, anti-social behaviour and community safety. This year, pupils at St Mary’s Limavady and Limavady High School took part in the programme.
Developed by the Children’s Safety Education Foundation, the Respect Programme teaches young people about the consequences of anti-social behaviour and crime on communities and on the health, safety and well-being of young people.
£2,500 was provided from the Housing Executive’s Community Safety budget to fund the project, allowing the production of new text books, E-books, work sheets and student surveys.
Michael Fitzgerald, from the Children’s Safety Education Foundation, explained how the programme works.
He said: “As part of the Respect Programme we encourage young people to challenge stereotypes, consider opposing viewpoints and examine citizenship issues.
“This helps them deal with problems they encounter in everyday life such as peer pressure, bullying and personal safety.”
Jackie O’Kane, from the Housing Executive’s Community Safety Team, said:“We want to empower young people to make positive choices and play an active role in their community.
“This is a fantastic project that uses real life situations to demonstrate that everyone in our society deserves respect.
“We are delighted that St Mary’s and Limavady High Schools have engaged with the programme and are helping their pupils tackle anti-social behaviour issues in a constructive way.”
Sean Mullan, Vice Principal of St Mary’s High School, said:‘The Respect Programme has been a breath of fresh air in its content and presentation.
“It targets issues directly related to the young people and is presented in a way that engages and informs.”
Laura Fisher, Vice Principal of Limavady High School, said;
“Pupils from Limavady High School are delighted to be using the Respect Programme resource which was kindly provided by The Housing Executive.
“Year 9 pupils have had the opportunity to discuss the danger of playing with fire in their Learning for Life and Work classes during a time of year when we are always concerned about the safety of our pupils in the community.
“The pupils are looking forward to continuing with the programme this term exploring issues which can be challenging for teachers to tackle but which are essential to include in our curriculum.”