Foundation helps Leeds youngsters stay safe
Children in Leeds have been taking part in a city-wide rail safety awareness programme this week in conjunction with the Leeds United Foundation, Network Rail and the British Transport Police.
Over 450 youngsters are attending daily sessions at Leeds City Station with track safety messages accompanying fun football skills, tours of the station and interactive discussions with British Transport Police.
Alan Scorfield, Senior Executive Officer, Leeds United Foundation, said:
“As a football club we are at the heart of our communities every day and it allows us to make people, and particularly children, more aware of serious issues such as being safe on the rails. A lot of work has taken place in Leeds to ensure we all understand the massive risks of playing on the train lines and the consequences of doing so. Working with Network Rail and British Transport Police on the programme has really hit home with all the school children we have met with and they have all genuinely enjoyed it.”
Foundation Ambassador, Josh Warrington was also on hand to lend his support to the programme, taking part in football skills whilst offering eager youngsters the chance to win signed memorabilia with a rail safety question and answer session. One lucky pupil, Liam, from Pudsey Tyersal Primary School won the personalised autographed golden glove of the Leeds Warrior.
Leeds United Foundation Ambassador, Josh Warrington, commented:
“Coming from a part of the city where in the past there have been issues with misuse of the train tracks, this programme means a lot to me personally. There have been massive strides made in ensuring our young people are educated on rail awareness and Network Rail, British Transport Police and Leeds United Foundation have been at the heart of that. I’ve really enjoyed being a part of it and as the leading rail safety sport programme in the country, I’m proud to support my community and city in becoming safer and more protected.”
The number of people travelling on trains in the UK has doubled since 1995 to over 1.5 billion people a year and with Leeds Railway Station now the third busiest station outside of London with over 27 million people using it each year.
Hayley Bull, Community Safety Manager, Network Rail said:
“Raising awareness of the dangers and hazards of the railway amongst children is a vital issue for Network Rail. By partnering with Leeds United Foundation, we can get our message across more frequently, more effectively and critically, will help reduce incidents on the line and ensure communities stay safe. Events like this are absolutely crucial because they engage with the young people we are trying to reach and in an interactive way that helps them process and translate the risks.”
There are over 300 fatalities a year in the UK from track misuse and related incidents.
Police Sergeant Rudy Tanghe, British Transport Police Leeds, concluded:
“Working with Leeds United Foundation, Network Rail and hundreds of young people from across the city has been a real pleasure for the British Transport Police. We see on a daily basis the dangers that train stations, rail tracks and trains can present when misused and for that reason being able to make children more aware of being safe is fantastic for our communities. Work like this with an iconic sporting brand will only help to get the message across to stay safe from harm.”
The Leeds United Foundation delivers the Network Rail programme year round, across the city. if you would like any more details on the Network Rail Safety Awareness programme or if you or your school would like to take part, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org