Here at JUST Lincolnshire, we have begun to give workshops to primary schools in order to enlighten children about the importance of equality. Since the age in which you are responsible for your own crimes is 10, JUST Lincolnshire feels it is important to make children aware of how their actions may impact on themselves and others in a negative manner.

In September 2016, Mandy & Sue went to William Alvey Primary School in Sleaford to do some awareness sessions with 75 children aged 9, 10 and 11.

They were fun and informative workshops where children were able to actively understand what it was like to have a disability. The children were asked to describe in words or by drawing pictures what a ‘friend’ might look like in an outline of a person given to them, but they were asked to wear glasses that distort vision and oven gloves worn on their non-dominant hand. This gave them an idea of what it might be like to live with a disability for a very short time which then led onto discussions about what might make us different and how important it is to treat everyone equally and to be aware of how actions and words can affect us and how inappropriate behaviour left unchallenged may lead to hate crime.

The workshops had a great response from teachers and children alike; some of the pupils became young ambassadors for JUST Lincolnshire for their school. By taking a confident approach, they decided that they would like an incident book to record any incidents in the playground for example. They also want to be seen as positive figures who can be approached and be a helping hand to anyone who should need it.

In February we went back to the school to see how the student’s had progressed. They gave an innovative presentation about their roles as equality champions. They have now shown this presentation to approximately 350 KS2 children in total, and have sent us reports about how their roles have been progressing. We are very pleased to say that they have done a brilliant job so far and will continue to do so.

Due to the amazing response we had from this school, we look forward to progressing further with others in the Lincolnshire area.

The following report is from year 6 student Elliot,

“When I first became an equality champion, I was really excited because I like helping people and part of the job was doing just that, although it was a lot harder than I first thought…

After I was told of my new job, we were asked to make a presentation about who we are and about our job. We shared our presentations with all of KS2

All the children loved the idea, they even wanted to be an equality champion too! On my first day, however, children would ask us to sort out their friendship problems, whereas our job was to make sure everyone was treating each other equally. We had some more training with our teacher on how to deal with these situations, and we talked more about what sort of problems we should be sorting out. We have now been making sure to encourage children with friendship problems to solve them themselves and we focus on inequalities.

Since then we have been striving to make new ways to make sure everyone is equal and make our school a fairer place”.

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