Crucial Crew 2022

After the previous two years of Crucial Crew were cancelled due to the Covid pandemic and the resulting restrictions, Sudbury Rotary Club was able to run the twenty-first Crucial Crew during May and this saw 730 9/10-year old children from 27 schools gain invaluable safety experiences, bringing the total number to over 13,000 since the club introduced Crucial Crew in 1999. Unlike other Crucial Crews in Suffolk, which are organised by the various District Councils, Sudbury Crucial Crew is funded, organised and run totally by Sudbury Rotary Club.

Comments from some of the teachers who brought youngsters along included :-

• we are increasingly aware of the dangers faced by older primary school children Crucial Crew supports them in managing these dangers.

  • a vital resource to prepare children to participate safely in todays society.

  • the access to expertise, resources and people who have real-life experiences an invaluable teaching aid for our children.

  • Crucial Crew compliments the PHSE curriculum and provides a memorable experience, which facilitates important life skills and learning.

 Schools come along to either a morning or afternoon session during Crucial Crew week. Their pupils are divided into nine groups of 7 to 11 children, and they are guided around a circus of nine different 16-minute scenarios either by their teachers, or by Rotarians, partners and friends.

Each year, we note the feedback from the participating schools and, as a result, changes are made to our usual scenarios when necessary. A group of Year-10 Drama students from Thomas Gainsborough School in Sudbury again produced one of the most impressive scenarios, which dealt with bullying. The focus this year was on bullying through social media and the short play performed by the actors highlighted the problem brilliantly, with all who saw it commenting on the excellence of the acting and the message that was delivered.

We have been particularly grateful for the support provided over the years by the police and this year they concentrated on messages left on various social media platforms and the mental stress that offensive ‘tweets’ might cause. This also gave the police officers the opportunity talk about friendships and the dangers of possible ‘grooming’, which will be developed further with the police visiting schools in the coming weeks to discuss the growing problem associated with “county lines”.

Our ‘Water Safety’ scenario was also popular with the children, with members of the River Stour Trust providing a completely inter-active experience, where the children learnt how to rescue each other from an imaginary lake with the use of a float and lengths of rope.

We were pleased this year to be able to broaden Crucial Crew to look at environmental issues with a scenario developed and delivered by the town’s Community Wardens, which looked at the over-use and dangers of plastics and how they can be recycled. There was also an opportunity to investigate the effectiveness of the children’s hand washing by using an ultra-violet sensitive dye on their hands to simulate bacteria before washing off and examining the result under a UV-lamp.

The usual mix of regular scenarios completed the programme, with Suffolk Fire Service once again using their ever popular mock-up of a child’s bedroom to great effect to point out areas of potentially high fire risk, before simulating a fire with theatrical smoke and rescue by a fireman wearing full breathing apparatus. The dangers caused by the use of drugs and alcohol were explained by representatives from the charity Turning Point and there was an opportunity to make a ‘999-call’ to our own emergency operators and youngsters were also taught some first aid including how to move someone to the ‘recovery position’ and also how to perform CPR.

So that the lessons learnt are reinforced, each pupil has access to material that supports continued learning at home and in the classroom via the Sudbury Crucial Crew website, which also provides key information for teachers prior to their visit.

To be successful, the project requires a terrific additional commitment from Rotarians, friends and anyone who can be encouraged to come along and help. In all, around 45 people helped with at least one session, including a number of Rotarians from other local Clubs, many of whom enjoy the experience so much that they return year after year. Our thanks go to all those who helped so willingly and in so many ways.

The whole event was organised, funded and run by Sudbury Rotary Club and thanks are due to our sponsors, who this year included Sudbury Town Council, Hadleigh Town Council, Babergh District Council and Suffolk Resilience Forum.

No sooner has the one event finished than preparations are being made for next year, when it is hoped that Crucial Crew will again offer support to local children during the week 15th - 19th May, 2023. The organisation has been handed over to The Bridge Project, a community-based charity in Sudbury, but the Rotary Club will still be present and will run the 999-call scenario.

Related pages...

Crucial Crew 2019

more A record number of youngsters attended the 2019 event bringing the total since the start of Crucial Crew in 1999 to over 13,000.

Crucial Crew 2018

more A look at the 2018 event. Why not watch a video of it via the main Crucial Crew page?

Learning about the 'recovery position' in the 1st Aid scenario.

Crucial Crew 2017

more Another fantastic year for Crucial Crew with 3 new scenarios.

Learning about the dangers of alcohol, drugs and peer-group pressure with a local PCSO.

Crucial Crew 2016


back to page above this...

Crucial Crew

back Crucial Crew 2023 is scheduled for 15th - 19th May, 2023. Having organised the event for 21 years, Sudbury Rotary Club will continue to provide help in future with The Bridge Project taking over the organisation.