About Crucial Crew

Shrewsbury and Oswestry Crucial Crew was established in 1994 and is a registered charity, No 1125144.

In May / June every year, we hold an event over a two week period at Nesscliff  Military Training Centre. This is attended by up to 1500 children from 40 to 60 primary schools in the Shrewsbury and Oswestry area of Shropshire. The children receive social awareness and safety training as a means of teaching them essential life skills. The event has been running for  28 years during which time nearly 32,000 children have attended. We were granted Charity Status by the Charity Commission in June 2008.

The objects registered with the commission are as follows:

“To act as a resource for young people living in the Shrewsbury and Oswestry area of Shropshire by providing advice and assistance and organising programmes of physical, educational and other activities as a means of; A) advancing in life and helping young people by developing their skills, capacities and capabilities to enable them to participate in society as independent, mature and responsible individuals, and B) advancing their education.”

Why is this important to our community?
Crucial Crew provides today’s children with an opportunity to acquire essential life skills at an impressionable time in their development. At Crucial Crew, children learn of the dangers of drugs, internet abuse and bullying, stranger danger, the effects of hoax calls etc. For many organisations, it is a rare and most cost-effective opportunity to raise awareness of the many dangers of the sea, water, electricity, railways, poor hygiene, smoking, building sites, internet, dog awareness, alcohol abuse and farm situations. As a result of attending, they are more confident in themselves and in a better position to make a positive contribution to their communities as they mature into junior citizens. The children also take this information back to their families, and members of their communities who may not have been privileged to receive this training.

Who delivers the training?
The training is delivered by professional partners including, the Police, Fire and Rescue,  Health Authority, RNLI – and specialists representing rail, road and water safety, the environment, farming, dog safety, health and safety, personal hygiene, IT skills and dangers on building sites. Each year the content is reviewed to ensure that it fully reflects current needs and developments.

How is this planned?
In order to effect each annual ten-day event, a management team of 9 unpaid volunteer trustees will meet monthly in February, March, April and May each year to plan and make the necessary arrangements. The appropriate professional partners are invited to the meetings in March April and May to discuss safety topics of the day and their presentation requirements. Schools are invited to participate and reply advising Crucial Crew of numbers attending together with any unsuitable dates. Transport and facilities are booked in advance by the management team.  Preparation for each event starts with an AGM held annually in September.

How is this delivered?
Over a two week period in May / June, up to 1500 ten-year-old children and their teachers from Shrewsbury and Oswestry schools are bussed to a central location, currently Nescliff Army Camp. The number of children who attend each day are sub-divided into 13 groups of about 12 with a mix of schools in each group. The groups are allocated a volunteer adult escort, wearing a clearly identifiable fluorescent bib, who between 10.00am and 2.30pm escorts them around 13 safety presentations/scenarios which may typically include.

  • Internet Safety
  • Cyber Bullying / Bullying
  • Safety around dogs
  • Road Safety
  • Electrical equipment safety
  • Emergency Planning
  • Safety on the farm
  • First aid
  • Fire safety
  • Alcohol Awareness
  • Hate crime
  • River and coast safety
  • Drugs & Alcohol misuse
  • Railway safety
  • Hygiene
  • Environmental Matters
  • Recycling and waste management
  • School Nurses
  • Building site danger

All of the children attending Crucial Crew receive a t-shirt which, from past experience, we know is greatly valued. They also receive a goodie bag and a workbook. With a few weeks left at school teachers use the safety workbooks to revisit and reinforce the knowledge gained at the live event..

Three events were cancelled over the years. In 2001 the event was cancelled at the eleventh hour due to an outbreak of foot and mouth. In 2020 and 2021 the events were cancelled due to Covid-19, Coronavirus. This time, however, working closely with the education authority and local schools, 1500 safety workbooks were issued each year to 46 schools whose year six students were still at school. A similar plan was adopted in 2022 when the event only ran for one week due to increased demand on the facilities at Nesscliff Army Camp. Books and t-shirts were issued to schools due to attend during the second week. The workbooks contain 18 scenarios, five more than there is time for at the live event.

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