Monday 23 May 2011

Supporting Young Enterprise S@faty-Net Cumbria

Today I had the pleasure of meeting the Young Enterprise team at Nelson Thomlinson School in Wigton Cumbria who epitomise what is good about the relationship between Education, Industry and Police.

They recently progressed to the North-West final of the Young Enterprise competition as county champions and hope to go as far as we possibly can in the future

They have set up a Company under the Young Enterprise Scheme in order to, firstly, learn about how to create a business, but also to help deliver an important social message. In essence this is a Social Business.

The group call themselves S@fety-Net and take responsibility for delivering internet safety training to Primary Schools and younger Secondary School students. They have created their own design, artwork and web presence

Here is what they have done in their own words;

“We felt it very important to alert children, teenagers and parents to the dangers of the internet and help them find ways to protect themselves from the unpredictable Web. The main aim of the company is to spread awareness for the increasing problem of cyber-bullying, mainly to primary school pupils years 3 to 6.
At first, we created professional, bespoke presentations tailored to different age ranges of cyber-bullying and how to remain safe whilst online.
However, as time has progressed, we are beginning to run out of schools in which we, as students, can physically reach (mainly due to the fact the schools are so spread out across Cumbria and we are in full time education and are therefore restricted in the number of presentations we can perform).
However, we are always looking to expand and improve the business to spread the important message of cyber safety to more primary school pupils around the country.

Our most recent product, the Virtual Learning Education Moodle course contains all of our resources which would normally be given out to schools after a presentation, as well as the presentations themselves. It also includes various helpful links to websites regarding the issue and hand made quizzes which engage younger users of the course.

Thanks to generous support from Stobart Group and the Cumberland Building Society, we can afford to and are in the process of giving 200 of these useful resources to schools around the country.”

Have a look at their site

They are making a difference

So why would this approach work rather than perhaps using other Internet Safety Experts.

  1. They remember what it was like at Primary School
  2. They know and understand the technology that young people are using, Smartphones, FB, Twitter etc as well as the Street rules of use and abuse
  3. It helps the relationship between there school and feeder schools as well as others
  4. It provides them with experience in creating a working enterprise and business skills
  5. It gives them the opportunity to meet Key Stakeholders
  6. It helps them build a valuable CV for later life.

I could go on...........

I take my hat off to them for their efforts and wish them every success in the next round of their challenge.

On a wider issue wouldn’t it be great to replicate this elsewhere. Secondary Schools providing Internet Safety to Primary schools could work on a County basis.

Any thoughts on this would be gratefully received before I reach out to other stakeholders for thir help and guidance

Well done S@afety-Net great job

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