Hebburn pupils prepare flood risk plans for schools

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Youngsters are turning their hands to flood prevention in a series of themed weeks held in schools in South Tyneside.

Pupils at St James RC Primary School and Hebburn Lakes Primary School - both Hebburn -have been working alongside Environment Agency’s Taryn Al-Mashgari.

Community engagement officer Taryn Al-Mashgari

Community engagement officer Taryn Al-Mashgari

Together they have been designing flood plans and ‘grab bags’ to prepare themselves in the event of a flood.

The visit comes ahead of the work starting on Monkon flood alleviation scheme aimed at reducing the risk of flooding across the Monkton and Hebburn South areas of the borough.

A visit to Toner Avenue Primary School also in Hebburn is scheduled to take place in the coming weeks.

Community Engagement Officer, Taryn said: “It’s important that younger people understand what flooding is, how it happens and what the different organisations that deal with flooding do.

We can never completely eliminate the risk and that’s why we work hard to educate people and our future generations about what they can do to keep themselves and their valuables safe

Taryn Al Mashgari

“We also teach them how to prepare for and what to do during a flood in a series of interactive sessions. It leads to them being able to create a flood plan for their own school, and in turn their parents having a greater understanding.

“We know it is absolutely devastating to be flooded and that’s why we work closely with our partners to develop schemes to reduce the risk of flooding – such as the project due to start at Monkton.

“But we can never completely eliminate the risk and that’s why we work hard to educate people and our future generations about what they can do to keep themselves and their valuables safe.”

The sessions aims to help children throughout all year groups to understand different types of flooding and how it happens; what to do before and during a flood and learning what the flood warning symbols used by the Environment Agency mean.

The week ended with a community event attended by parents, Northumbrian Water and Northern Powergrid, as well as Monkton flood scheme project manager Tom Pitman, working for South Tyneside Council and the Environment Agency - and partners at the Tyne Rivers Trust, where children were able to showcase the flood plan they’ve created for their own school.

The Environment Agency is urging people to ‘Prepare, Act, Survive’ by visiting the Floods Destroy website and to save the three-point flood plan.

For information visit floodsdestroy.campaign.gov.uk