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 PCSO's play helps youngsters make right choices


A PCSO with a love of writing is helping young people make the right choices.

Sam Stephenson, who works with the Spennymoor Neighbourhood Policing Team, came up with the idea of writing an educational play in March after thinking of different ways to teach schoolchildren about following the right path through life.

And after spending weeks of her own time at the drawing board, the play Choices, was born.

“We deal with a lot of antisocial behaviour in the area and we are trying to make the kids think a bit more about the paths they can choose and the impact that choice can have so I decided to start writing something for the Year 6 pupils to perform,” Sam said.

Auditions were held at North Park Primary School, in Spennymoor, in June and all 32 students given a role in the play, which follows the life of a seven-year-old boy called Alfie and how he initially falls into the wrong crowd and makes bad choices.

Alfie ends up in prison but is offered the chance to live his life over and chooses to take the right path, leading him to further education and a career.

The play was received with cheers when it was performed at the end of the school term and Sam has already had requests from other schools to spread the message.

“The children make all their own costumes and props and as we rehearse, we talk about why Alfie makes his decisions and how important it is to make the right choices when you’re young and how they can affect your whole future,” Sam added. “The kids absolutely loved taking part and everyone learnt something whilst having fun.”

Sam said the play had also helped build up a bond between herself and the children so they knew they could always turn to the police if they were struggling.

“It was great to see the kids take ownership of the play and engage with them to raise that awareness,” she said. “If it gets the message across to just one of them it will be worth it.”