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How it works and benefits

The Duke of Cornwall Community Safety Award is open to all young people aged between 6 and 18 and uses a 3 tier system, where awards are earned at various ages. There is no requirement to register to take part in the award scheme; all of the materials and resources are available from this site. 

The different age groups accommodate the levels that currently exist within youth organisations. The scheme is therefore attractive to all ages and provides encouragement by awarding certificates and badges (which can be worn on uniforms of participating organisations) at each level. 

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Everyone participating in the Award scheme is encouraged to engage with their local community Police, Fire or other relevant emergency service, which are invariably willing to provide relevant support and information. Other organisations such as the Environment Agency and Local Authorities also provide information, support and encouragement.

A handbook including comprehensive learning and information packs for each level are available for individual, groups or leaders from the leaders resources page, including details on where you can purchase the Community Safety Award badges. There is no requirement to register for the award or to start rolling out the training programme.

Training programmes for each award level can be enhanced by engaging with local community Police, Ambulance and Fire and Rescue Services.

Each award has a list of suggested activities for young people to undertake at home or in their group. They are asked to complete a certain number of tasks in each category to gain the award.

Young people can move through the award scheme levels in a supportive and safe environment as they get older. For example, for the Home award, children are asked to draw a map of an escape route from their home while older teenagers can visit neighbours or could assist in post incident recovery work.

With significant weather-related incidents on the increase in the UK it is critical that the general public becomes better educated and prepared for such emergencies.

The challenge faced by all Local Resilience Forums is how to bring about a stronger public self-reliance and reduce unnecessary demand on critical and 999 services.

This idea sits at the heart of the Community Safety Award, which has been designed to bring learning direct to the home – with young people acting as the messengers. 

As well as educating themselves, young people must actively involve their parents at each level to achieve the awards.

For example, for the Community Safety Home Award, children work with their parents to prepare a household grab bag. While at the Community Safety Neighbourhood Award level, youngsters write a home emergency plan with the help of their family.

As a consequence of this engagement and by creating this network of fun and practical learning through young people, the key safety messages hit home with people across the generations.

Members of youth organisations can provide an important resource when mobilised and communicated effectively.

If alerted early enough, they can first help their families and vulnerable members of the community prepare for any impending emergency.

If properly and safely managed, they could then be made ready for quick deployment soon after the incident, providing valuable ‘boots on the ground’ in support of the emergency services and local authorities during the recovery phase.

The young people could be tasked and supervised at the scene by their own leaders, giving the incident commander vital resources which do not require their direct line management.