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Buckie Community Alert Day roars back for welcome return

By Alan Beresford

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A DRUG and drink health awareness day for P7 youngsters has made a welcome return after a Covid-enforced absence of two years.

The Community Alert Day (CAD) has been a regular annual event for local P7 pupils due to transition to S1 at Buckie Community High School (BCHS), with last Tuesday seeing around 135 drawn from Buckie area primary schools making their way to the High School for a day of sports tasters and health workshops.

A wide range of sports were on the menu – all of which are available after school at BCHS –including football, rugby, netball, basketball, golf, rounders and hockey, not to mention a dancing session, too.

Presentations by various partner agencies were joined by others on good mental health and healthy eating.

Out of the Darkness Theatre company made a welcome return to CAD with a multi-themed production covering young people and social media on mobile phones and other related issues.

One of the CAD organisers, Buckie Ladies manager Mel Smith, whose late partner David 'Parro' Findlay founded the event, said: "The day went very smoothly and according to plan, it was great to finally have in person events like this back

"The kids really seem to enjoy it and takes things on board.

"There was great choice of sports tasters on offer and the presentations dealt with issues like anti-social behaviour and vandalism which are relevant to the lives. One of the aims of CAD is to stop and make the kids think.

"Out of the Darkness were excellent, too. Their performance certainly gripped the kids' attention and had them all intrigued.

"CAD is a good informal introduction to BCHS. They're placed in their Houses and get a chance to meet their new classmates before the more formal induction process begins."

Ms Smith added that a fundraising drive for next year's CAD was on the horizon.

BCHS depute rector Moira Taylor thanked all those who had worked hard to make the successful return of CAD a reality.

"We were absolutely delighted to welcome 135 P7 pupils to the 2022 Community Alert Day having missed the last two years due to Covid 19," she continued.

"This event has been running since 2011 in partnership with colleagues from the fire service, police, harbourmaster, Active Schools, Buckie Thistle Football Club and Out of the Darkness Theatre group.

"The day kicked off with a powerful and thought provoking performance from OOTD – you could have heard a pin drop, all pupils were so engaged. Thereafter pupils followed a rota of workshops in school and on the playing fields, allowing them to hear high level messages about how they can keep themselves safe in their communities as well as enjoy taster sessions of sporting activities on offer at BCHS.

"It was wonderful to see new friendships being struck up as pupils got to know new classmates in an informal environment. We are very grateful to the local Co-op who generously donated fruit, snacks and water for the pupils’ interval and for all the help from our senior pupils who were outstanding this year."

Also welcoming the return of the day was Buckie councillor Sonya Warren.

She commented: "It's fantastic to see it happen in person again, such a good day for the P7 pupils that are moving up into high school.

"It really open their eyes to things that are happening around them, peer pressure and how to cope when you're either others making bad decisions.

"The input from the police and fire services was really good, too making young people think about the consequences of things like rammies, making them think about what it's like for the people on the receiving end, how stress and anxiety can lead to further ill health or accidents.

"There was also great input from Darren Bremner the harbour master, raising the issues of water safety, keeping yourself safe even dooking, and having fun at the beach or at the harbour.

"It was an action packed day with lots of different sports taster sessions on offer as well as sessions on good mental health and health eating.

"The senior pupils were excellent role models and great at looking after the kids, as well as running the sports sessions.

"Well done to everyone involved in organising such a beneficial day for our young people across the ASG who are making a big transition into high school after the holidays."

All of the youngsters attending the CAD left with a goody bag and pencil case stuffed with a variety of items.

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