East Lothian Council

Youngsters take anti-social behaviour messages to heart in art competition

Published Thursday 6th April 17

Youngsters take anti-social behaviour messages to heart in art competition

Pupils in East Lothian who have been learning about the links between peer pressure and anti-social behaviour have designed posters to remind their peers about how their behaviour can impact others.

Community Wardens at East Lothian Council have been delivering presentations to P6 and P7 pupils across the county to raise awareness about anti-social behaviour and its potential effect on communities.

The Community Wardens, who have been operational since August 2008, have a varied role that includes tackling littering, dog fouling, supporting the council’s Night Time Noise Service and youth diversionary work. Towards the end of 2016 the Community Warden Team devised a presentation for P6 and 7 pupils that would address a wide variety of minor anti-social behaviour matters, and give the young people skills to remove themselves from difficult situations. This age group was targeted as they will soon make the transition to secondary school where they are likely to experience a greater degree of peer pressure. At the end of the sessions, all school pupils who participated were invited to create a poster that illustrated the key messages they had learned.

Mandy Smith, Community Wardens Team Leader at East Lothian Council, said:


“Anti-social behaviour is not just committed by young people, of course, but these sessions address issues that are relevant to this age group. From experience we know that it is extremely rare for a young person to engage in anti-social behaviour on their own. These sessions aim to show how peer pressure relates to youth anti-social behaviour in our communities, and teach the young people how to remove themselves from situations that may cause distress to others. We invite them to think about how an activity that a young person may view as harmless fun – for example, chapping doors or throwing eggs - can have an adverse affect on others, particularly on the elderly and more vulnerable members of our community.

“It’s fantastic that so many young people have participated in the poster competition, and it’s clear from the content of the posters that they have really engaged with the project and taken in the key messages. Although it was incredibly difficult to judge, we were able to select four winners who were each presented with vouchers and a goodie bag, which were well deserved.”

The winners were: 1st place, Heather Wheelan from Yester Primary School; 2nd place, Rudie Shearer from Yester Primary School; 3rd place, Amy Semple from Athelstaneford Primary School; and 4th place, Ellie Christison from Innerwick Primary School.

The winning posters will be distributed to all primary schools after the Easter break, and the Community Warden Team will continue to deliver the sessions at primary schools who wish to participate.

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