Dromore School Children Learn Essential Road Safety Skills

The PSNI's Neighbourhood Policing Team in Dromore have participated in a unique project to teach primary school children essential road safety and bicycles maintenance skills.

The P6 and P7 children from St Colman's PS and Dromore Central PS rolled up their sleeves to learn basic bike maintenance including how to fix a puncture, check brakes and adjust gears. They put these newfound skills to good use by helping to refurbish 18 bicycles which will be given to local charities to distribute.

Explaining more, Neighbourhood Sergeant Nick Woods said: "This has been a great learning experience for the children who worked really well together and should be very proud of what they've done.

"The bikes were donated by the local churches in the Dromore area and the children set to work to restore them to their former glory. These good-as-new bikes have now been given over to community partners St Vincent De Paul, the Prince's Trust and Kinallen Rural Community Development Association to donate to anyone in need of this transport in our community.

"We initially set this project up as an anti-social behaviour diversion project back in 2022 and it's grown to become something that's a real example of partnership success, helping to foster a sense of charity and community pride within our young people."

District Commander, Chief Superintendent Kellie McMillan said: "We'd like to congratulate the pupils for their efforts and thank all those involved in this cross-community project, this has had great community support.

"In addition to these useful skills, the children have also received life-saving road safety advice from our officers and the Policing and Community Safety Partnership.

"This has been a positive example of us engaging well within our neighbourhoods and our thanks to the children who have impressed us all with their enthusiasm, ability and community spirit."

Stephen Smith, of local business JR Magill Cycles which has been operating in Dromore since 1904, provided the expertise and guidance on basic bike maintenance to the young people involved.
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Explaining why he got involved, he said: "I really just wanted to put something back into the community and can see the value in this project. I'm a former teacher and know how important the message of keeping safe on the roads is for our young people."

Education Minister Paul Givan said: "I was delighted to attend a presentation event for Dromore Central Primary School and St Colman's Primary School for their fantastic work on this very worthwhile project.

"Supporting shared learning opportunities enables children and young people from different backgrounds to come together and learn with and about each other. I would like to thank the pupils, schools and all those involved for their time and support in making this enterprise a success."

PCSP Chair Clare McConville Walker praised all those involved in this venture and said: "Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Policing& Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) was delighted to be able to support the Banbridge Neighbourhood Policing Team to deliver this project. Not only did the project provide an excellent opportunity for local police to engage in a positive way with the community and young people in Dromore but also enabled PCSP Project Officer Gwen Bartley to talk to the pupils about road safety and crime prevention to help keep them safe."

Heather Bentley, principal of Dromore Central PS, said: "This has been a great experience for our P7 pupils. They have worked hard and had fun while learning some very useful, practical skills. Our thank you to all involved in this worthwhile project."

Maeve Savage, principal of St Colman's PS, said: "We were delighted to be involved in this programme, along with Dromore Central PS, as it has benefited our children in so many ways. They gained practical skills which will remain with them for life, they formed new friendships and importantly they're left with a sense of pride in the contribution they've made to helping others in their local community. We hope to be involved in more projects like this in the future as it brings our young people together in such a positive way."

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