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Rail role for Scouts

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CrossCountry has teamed up with the Scouts Association to show young people how to stay safe on the railway.

The three-year partnership has two steps. Stage One undertakes to educate Scouts on rail safety. Stage Two encourages Scout leaders to contact community rail partnerships and station adoption groups and arrange visits to local stations. Where possible Scout Packs will be encouraged to adopt their local station. The partnership aims to educate 150,000 young people within the next two years.

Says Chris Leech, business community manager, CrossCountry, ‘I am a true believer that young people have the loudest voices and arguably the biggest social network in society. Given the right information and a small amount of responsibility they can become great ambassadors.’

Emphasising the safety goal of the exercise Chris says, ‘This programme encourages young people to be responsible ambassadors for rail safety.’

Within two days of the launch of the partnership, Chris and colleagues were inundated with positive messages from railway employees associated with the Scouting movement. ‘They endorse and celebrate our approach,’ says Chris.

As well as railway staff, BTP officers are right behind the scheme. Says PC Joe Turner, ‘This is really important because a lot of our work is making sure that people are safe on the railways. The kids are really enthusiastic. Getting to see the control room, going down and seeing the trains moving about and getting an explanation on how everything works means they definitely have a better awareness of their own safety and others.’

The scouting movement dates from the start of the last century. A British army officer, Robert Baden-Powell, developed the idea for scouting, based on self reliance and woodcraft, whilst on reconnaissance missions in the hills of southern Africa during the Boer War. His book, ‘Scouting for Boys’ became a best seller. The motto, ‘Be Prepared’ has inspired generations of scouts. The British scout movement is thought to number over 452,000 young people.