Published: 17/03/2017 11:00 - Updated: 17/03/2017 12:55

Highland heroes on hand to keep local children safe from harm

Children came dressed as their favourite superheroes as part of a campaign aimed at keeping them safe
Children came dressed as their favourite superheroes as part of a campaign aimed at keeping them safe

A GROUP of heroes converged on the biggest fire station in the Highlands this week – but not all of them were firefighters.

Nursery and primary-aged school children arrived at the fire station in Inverness dressed as their favourite superhero after accepting an invite from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) and Police Scotland to mark Highland Hero Week 2017.

It is the second year running the SFRS has supported the project, which aims to protect children from harm or abuse.

The project, which is championed by the charity Safe, Strong and Free, was initially only available in the Inverness area but has since expanded to include every school in the Highlands.

Nursery assistants and members of the Safe, Strong and Free team accompanied the kids to the station.

Although the children had a lot of fun, the day was also about education and was designed to teach them that members of the blue light services are there to help and can be trusted, regardless of the influence of their parents or peers.

The children were shown around a variety of sets and they also got to meet local officers from Police Scotland.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service station manager Graham Clark said: "Our commitment to safety in the home is not exclusive to fire safety, it also includes personal safety so we are so pleased to be backing the important work carried out by the team at Safe, Strong and Free for the second year running.

"It’s important that children understand that they can trust members of a uniformed service enough to approach them about a particular issue they have. Sometimes it may be the only opportunity they have to talk about what they are experiencing."

Safe, Strong and Free project manager, Kerry Glen said: "We are a prevention and child abuse programme which covers all over Highland.

"What we do is teach pre-school children how to keep themselves safe and how to avoid dangerous situations. So we run Highland Hero Week to ensure children can identify somebody safe that they can talk to and can trust. It’s important that we have the uniformed services backing so that children know they can turn to them for help if needed."

Last year the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service received an award from Safe, Strong and Free for our support of the 2016 Highland Hero Week and for helping to achieve positive and media coverage.

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