WEST Devon Borough Council’s annual Junior Life Skills event has seen its highest ever turnout.

The learning event, held every year for Year Six pupils, challenges children in ‘real-life’ scenarios that teach essential safety lessons. 549 children from across West Devon took part in the action-packed sessions, held recently at Okehampton’s Parklands Leisure Centre and Tavistock Town Hall.

The programme is an interactive learning experience where children discussed hazards in a wide range of different situations, and learned the most appropriate actions to take from fully trained volunteers from partner organisations.

Eight partner agencies joined with West Devon Borough Council to present ten different scenarios. These included Devon and Cornwall Police, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue, the RNLI, Dog’s Trust and Western Power, as well as Tavistock Rotary Club. This year they were joined for the first time by the Royal Life Saving Society.

In each scenario, children faced a hazard they could encounter at any time. With the help of trained experts, the children were taught how to recognise hazards, deal with emergencies and develop social responsibility.

Cllr Caroline Mott, Lead Member for Customer First, of West Devon Borough Council, said: ‘It’s absolutely vital for children to learn these essential safety messages, which will help prepare them for life through their teenage years and beyond.’

Any business or organisation interested in sponsoring the event next year can email: [email protected] to express their interest.

Pictures by James Bird. See more in tomorrow’s Times.