EDUCATION: Plymouth Catholic primary pupils’ ‘mini police’ pay helpful visit care home

Primary school pupils visited a care home in Plymouth as part of a project aimed at teaching children to be good citizens.

The “Mini Police” scheme, run by Devon and Cornwall Police, allows children aged eight to 10 to take part in various community activities.

Officers said the visit to Bethany Christian Home helped children “understand the vulnerabilities of our elderly community”.

The pupils, from Holy Cross Catholic Primary School, spent a morning doing storytelling, colouring and playing games with the residents.

Savio, nine, said he initially felt “nervous” but he was then put at ease.

“I was a bit nervous because I’ve never met them before,” he said.

“Now I feel a bit more confident – I feel like a good person helping everyone who needs help.”

Carter, also nine, added: “It makes us feel we’re a part of something big.”

Resident Pat Fish, 96, similarly enjoyed the encounter.

“They give back such a lot to people like us,” she said.

“I was telling them how old I was and they couldn’t get over it.”

Pupils are given a uniform featuring a police emblem for the programme.

PC Deborah Hart, the force’s youth engagement officer, said the aim was to build trust.

“The Mini Police are here to learn about good citizenship, to get that community engagement and understand the vulnerabilities of our elderly community and to be respectful,” she said.

“They’re really, really enjoying it.”

PCSO Mike Brumpton said: “We want them to grow up being a benefit to their community, helping out, rather than finding themselves at a loose end and being involved in anti-social behaviour which could lead to crime.”



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