Community Safety Award

The Duke of Cornwall Community Safety Award was launched in response to significant flooding in Cornwall in recent years.

The award aims to educate and train young people to assist before, during and after a crisis.  It was developed to give young people in the UK an opportunity to learn what to do in an emergency situation, such as severe weather, a pandemic or long term powercut. The award is open to young people between the ages of 5 and 18. 

There is no requirement to register to take part in the award scheme. All of the materials and resources are available from this site. 

Further information

For more information about the different badges, please see About the Community Safety Award

You can find more general information about the award below:

Would you like to adopt the scheme within your:

  • youth organisation
  • school
  • college
  • or as an individual
  • or group

If you would like further information about developing the scheme in your area, please contact:

Cornwall Council's Resilience and Emergency Management team by emailing them at

Please note: that there is no need to register to take part in the award scheme; all materials and resources are available from this site.

In 2010, The Duke of Cornwall Community Safety Award (DoCCSA) was launched in response to significant flooding in Cornwall.

His Royal Highness (HRH) Prince Charles (The Duke of Cornwall) visited the village of Lostwithiel. He came to see first-hand the devastating aftermath of flooding which left homes and businesses ruined.

He questioned why youth organisations were not effectively engaged in the recovery effort. This is often the case in other countries during major community emergencies.

There are many examples where young people have helped with international relief and recovery and helped to save lives.

For example, during the Boxing Day Asian tsunami and the 2009 earthquake in central Italy young people helped provide:

  • health care
  • distributed relief
  • cared for people in communities
  • under the guidance of disaster relief charities

The idea of educating and training young people to assist before, during and after a crisis is a simple but effective one. This is happening internationally – so why not here in the UK?

The DoCCSA was developed to give young people in the UK the first opportunity to learn what to do in an emergency situation.

Such as:

  • severe weather
  • a pandemic
  • a long-term power cut

As well as teaching them to protect themselves, the process makes them think about:

  • how to prepare their families
  • vulnerable people in their local communities

Using existing uniformed youth organisations, young people could also be mobilised in a safe and manageable way. To assist emergency services and local authorities in the recovery phase of any incident.

Whilst we cannot prevent emergencies and natural disasters from happening, we can:

  • ensure that the next generation is better prepared
  • help them be ready to help others in times of crisis throughout the UK

When HRH Prince Charles responded to the challenge, youth organisations were a natural place to look. The organisations reflected the ethos of what the Local Resilience Forum (LRF) was trying to achieve.

A pilot project was used successfully through a Community Safety Badge being piloted by Scouts in Devon, Cornwall and Essex.

The LRF wanted to extend the scheme beyond the Scouts to engage with more young people and the Duke of Cornwall Community Safety Award was born in 2012.

It was based on the Scout badge principles and enabled young people between the ages of 5 and 18 to progress through a series of awards. As well broadening its appeal, the new award demonstrated how young people could be engaged before, during and after an emergency.

Representatives of uniformed youth organisations in Cornwall were gathered together by the LRF. and all agreed to work together in partnership to support the initiative.

A training package was set up for each award level. It gave group leaders guidance on how to deliver the new skills through their own organisation.

Leaders were reassured that the appropriate health and safety measures were in place to prevent any risk to young people.

The award was quickly adopted by all uniformed youth organisations in Cornwall including:

  • Scouts
  • Girl Guides
  • Boys Brigade
  • military and emergency services cadets

Since then it has gone from strength to strength.

The Duke of Cornwall Community Safety Award is open to all young people aged between 6 and 18. It uses a 3 tier system, where awards are earned at various ages. There is no need to register to take part in the award scheme; all materials and resources are available from this site.

The different age groups accommodate the levels that currently exist within youth organisations. The scheme is attractive to all ages and provides encouragement by awarding certificates and badges. The award badges can be worn on uniforms of participating organisations, at each level.

Everyone participating in the Award scheme is encouraged to engage with their local community, including:

  • Police
  • Fire
  • Ambulance
  • Environment Agency
  • Local Authorities

A handbook including comprehensive learning packs are available for each level including:

  • individual
  • groups
  • leaders

The handbook is available from the leaders resources page. It includes details on where you can purchase the Community Safety Award badges.

Training programmes for each award level can be enhanced by engaging with local community Police, Ambulance and Fire and Rescue Services.

Each award has a list of suggested activities for young people to undertake at home or in their group. They are asked to complete a certain number of tasks in each category to gain the award.

Young people can move through the award scheme levels in a supportive and safe environment as they get older. For example:

  • the Home award - children are asked to draw a map of an escape route from their home
  • older teenagers can visit neighbours or could assist in post incident recovery work.

With significant weather-related incidents on the increase in the UK, it is critical that the general public becomes:

  • better educated
  • prepared for such emergencies

The challenge faced by all Local Resilience Forums is how to bring about a stronger public self-reliance and reduce unnecessary demand on critical and 999 services.

This idea sits at the heart of the Community Safety Award. It has been designed to bring learning direct to the home – with young people acting as the messengers.

As well as educating themselves, young people must actively involve their parents at each level to achieve the awards. For example:

  • Children work with their parents to prepare a household grab bag for the Community Safety Home Award
  • Older children write a home emergency plan with the help of their family for the Community Safety Home Award

As a consequence of this engagement and by creating this network of fun and practical learning through young people, the key safety messages hit home with people across the generations.

Members of youth organisations can provide an important resource when mobilised.

If alerted early enough, they can:

  • help their families and vulnerable members of the community prepare for any impending emergency

If properly and safely managed, they could:

  • be made ready for quick deployment soon after the incident
  • providing valuable support to emergency services and local authorities during the recovery phase

The young people could be tasked and supervised at the scene by their own leaders. They could give the incident commander vital resources which do not require their direct line management.

Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Resilience Forum has seen tremendous value in the education and training of young people in emergency response.

The vision is for each of the 38 Local Resilience Forum (LRF) regions in the UK to:

  • adopt the scheme
  • extend the training to all uniformed youth groups in their area

On a national scale the scheme has the potential to:

  • reach 1.5 million young people to give them an understanding of what to do during a major incident
  • provide essential community support in times of crisis

As a rolling programme these numbers would increase over the years, as more young people join or leave their respective organisations.

Potentially this award will:

  • instil community cohesion
  • raise awareness of vulnerable people in the community
  • develop a form of self-reliance in major incidents

On a local scale the scheme has already proved to be a fantastic example of how 999 services and partner agencies can fulfil their commitment to engage with young people from diverse backgrounds and organisations.

It also brings together all uniformed youth groups in an area, promoting more effective engagement.

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