Children from Mill Rythe School near Eastoke, Hayling Island have been taught a lesson on the risks associated with coastal flooding and erosion, and made aware of the hazards and dangers of the Eastoke Point Scheme construction site.
Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership’s (ESCP) Community Engagement Team and works contractor Raymond Brown Construction Ltd visited the school before it broke-up for the summer holidays to talk to the children about the work that is happening on the seafront. It was a timely reminder to the children about the importance of keeping off the rocks and staying out of the construction site.
The interactive assembly used aerial photography to illustrate how over the last 100 years or so, the increase in development on Hayling Island means that projects like the one at Eastoke are now extremely important. It also included a simple game where children had to identify the correct personal protective equipment that must be worn for safety on site.
The school visit, which followed on from the previous week’s assembly from the Royal National Lifeboat Institute about beach safety, was attended by over 300 children, aged between 7 and 11. When asked who had visited the beach at the weekend, almost every child’s hand went up.
Mark Stratton, ESCP’s Community Engagement Officer said, “Talking to school children is a great way to get the message out to the local community about what we are doing to help reduce flood risk. Not only is it fun for the children to learn about, but hopefully they then take the messages home to their parents!”
Rob Hayman, Raymond Brown’s Project Manager said, “It is very important for children to understand coastal flooding and erosion and the importance of the work which we are doing. It is essential that when they visit the beach they are aware of how dangerous a construction site can be.”
All the children were given a Raymond Brown hard hat pencil sharpener and pencil on the basis that they promised to be aware of the dangers around them and to stay safe when visiting Eastoke Point.
James Bowen, Head Teacher at Mill Rythe Junior School said ‘ The children found the talk really engaging and have asked lots of questions since. I felt the talk was pitched at exactly the right level for the children and I am also really grateful that the ESCP and Raymond Brown took the time to discuss the safety issues relating to the work.
Mill Rythe School is approximately 5 minutes drive from Eastoke Point, where the new coastal defence scheme is being constructed.