- Created on Friday, 25 May 2012 14:33
PUBLIC SERVICES STUDENTS at South Devon College have had a “once in a lifetime experience” – helping marshal the longest ‘on foot’ Olympic Torch Run in the South West and also the Radio 1’s Start of the Summer Festival on Paignton Green.
Public Services Students take part in volunteering projects in the community throughout the year, including building a polytunnel at a Dartmoor Primary School and creating decorated safety barriers in Brixham Harbour. They were invited by Devon and Cornwall Police and Torbay District Council to help marshal the Olympic Torch run. For almost eight and a half miles from Blagdon to Babbacombe there were 47 handovers or ‘Torch Kisses’. Wearing high visibility jackets, it was the student’s job to be amongst the crowd to give advice, get to know the people and get involved with the celebration.
“The Police force called us their eyes and ears as we were observing the crowd for any suspicious behaviour and any obstacles or incidents that could disturb the convoy while in transit,” said Lewis Ray of the College Public Service Department, “We were seen as a vital part to the day’s success, stressing that the event was celebratory as opposed to a security event. We’ve had many thanks from local authority workers and the Police force. All of the staff and students that participated in the planning process and the day itself have got that memory now and can be very proud of their involvement in this historical event. It truly was a once in a lifetime experience.”
“On behalf of Torbay Council and Devon and Cornwall Police, can I say a big thank you to you (South Devon College) who made this day such an enjoyable event for the thousands of people who turned out to see the flame pass through Torbay.”, commented Inspector Adrian Leisk of Devon and Cornwall Police, “You could see by the sheer volume of people present, that we could not have been so effective in managing the crowd without your presence and support. I know from feedback I have received from my staff, that they enjoyed your company and regarded you as an integral part of the team. The students conducted themselves in a calm and professional manner, and can be proud of their contribution.”
The day before saw a smaller group of Public Services students taking on similar tasks at Radio 1’s 8000 sell out Start of the Summer Festival on Paignton Green as part of the new 999 Community Cadets initiative.
The 999 Community Cadets Scheme - for Uniformed Public Services students at South Devon College - has been set up to teach young people skills such as team work, citizenship, communication, discipline and the confidence to stand up for what is right in their local community. To achieve this, each term students receive theory and practical based inputs from local Police Officers and Firefighters designed to provide a real insight into policing and firefighting in their community.
The Public Services programme at the College has extensive links with the Armed Forces, Police, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, Fire Services and other uniformed services; all staff are ex-forces, including a current tutor, Colin Kirkman, who has recently returned from serving in Afghanistan with the Royal Marine Commandos.