ON FRIDAY, March 8th 2013, Clare Adamson, SNP MSP for Central Scotland spoke at the launch of “Rail Respect”, Network Rail’s new partnership with Young Scot, Scottish Youth Theatre and North Lanarkshire Council’s Active Schools Programme to teach children and young people rail safety and rail respect.
The partnership represents the largest youth awareness campaign ever undertaken by the rail industry in Scotland. The initiative employs creative communication methods through social media and interactive drama workshops to warn young people of the dangers of misusing the rail network.
Young Scot will target its members aged 11 to 26 through social media, on-line articles and outreach teams delivering awareness sessions. Young Scot is also implementing a Rail Ambassador scheme which will employ young people to promote the project in their communities and deliver awareness sessions.
Scottish Youth Theatre will deliver the message to ages 3 to 18 through 90 drama theatre workshops across nine local authorities.
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Mary McCluskey, Artistic Director of Scottish Youth Theatre, said: “The workshops will use theatre arts based techniques to explore and to promote awareness of potential dangers, exploring the decision making process and the potential hazards associated with making a hasty or wrong decision. The understanding, self-awareness and skills learned in these workshops will also lead to improved decision making capacities in all aspects of a young person’s life.”
The initiative is being funded by the Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) and is only one aspect of the improvement programme. Alongside this awareness-raising campaign, Network Rail has pledged widespread rail enhancements.
David Simpson, Network Rail Route Managing Director for Scotland, said: “The EGIP programme will see the electrification of over 100 miles of railway and significant upgrade works to other parts of our infrastructure.”
Clare Adamson MSP, SNP Central Region MSP, added: “This is a commendable and unprecedented outreach to children and young people who live directly on the (EGIP) lines. I am impressed by this innovative partnership, drawing on the creativity and talents at the Scottish Youth Theatre and the Social Media communication strategy of Young Scot to promote an important safety message. The railway is a wonderful transportation method for all ages, if used correctly. This initiative aims to improve respect for and safety on the network and encourages our young people to make good decisions about their own personal safety, but also that of their friends. I applaud the work being undertaken by all Partners in the “Rail Respect” project, but especially the young people who have committed to “Rail Respect”.”
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