Children from a Hull primary school will be heading home with strong messages for their families and friends after joining forces with the Brain Injury Group and Hudgell Solicitors to discuss dangers on the roads and how to stay safe.
As part of the UK’s biggest road safety event, Road Safety Week (21-27 November), coordinated by national road safety charity Brake, around 400 pupils from Thanet Primary School, east Hull, were asked to illustrate what they – and their parents – will promise to do to make the roads safer for everyone.
It was part of a campaign which saw thousands of organisations, schools and community groups back the Make the Brake Pledge campaign, helping to spread awareness about six simple changes which can help people to protect themselves, those around them and to reduce vehicle emissions and pollution.
The six Brake Pledge points to remember throughout the week were: Slow, Sober, Secure, Silent, Sharp and Sustainable.
Each year group at Thanet Primary this week made colourful posters, many depicting the children themselves with their friends and families crossing roads with notes to drivers to slow down, not to drink and drive or use phones whilst driving, so that they and their families stay safe.
The award-winning book ‘Heads up, Tim Tron’, which was provided as part of the campaign by the Children’s Trust and designed to explain brain injury to young people, was also read to pupils by teachers as part of ‘circle time’.
Pupils were then awarded prizes of £5 vouchers for WHSmith for the best in each class at a special assembly on Thursday, whilst every child who took part also received a road safety certificate-badge.
Winner Jamie Cousins, 10, enjoyed taking part, and said: “I thought it was really good because we could use our own ideas and imagination”
Libby Browne, 11, was also a winner. She said: “I enjoyed taking part in the competition, it’s an important message for children to hear.”
Headteacher Jo Machon feels discussing the issue of road safety was important for the pupils, and said they were excited to be judged on their posters.
“It was really exciting for the children to be judged on their efforts by somebody coming into the school from Hudgell Solicitors. They had lots of different messages, from thinking about crossing the road safely and the green cross code to urging drivers to slow down. It has been a really worthwhile project for the school to take part in,” she said.
Andrea Beer, General Marketing Manager at Hudgell Solicitors, said it was a thought-provoking and enjoyable project.
“It was an absolute pleasure to present prizes to the winners of the poster competition,” she said.
“The children enjoyed taking part in the competition and had obviously worked very hard on the designs and messages contained on their posters, so selecting the winners was a real challenge.
“The children will now be taking their posters home to share them with families and to talk about what they’ve learned during Road Safety Week about reducing risk on the roads.
“Road Safety Week is a great opportunity to get as many people talking about road safety as possible. Taking the message into schools regularly means that children learn as early as possible to understand the risks around them, and they can encourage their parents to be more alert and change their behaviour too.”
For the 2016 campaign the Brain Injury Group has been working with nine member firms, 16 schools and one cub pack – around 5,000 children in all, and their families.
“Half of traumatic brain injuries are the result of road traffic accidents,” said Sally Dunscombe, director of the Brain Injury Group.
“That’s why the Brain Injury Group network has supported Road Safety Week for several years. We deal with people affected by brain injury daily, and the campaign provides some context for the great work our members do in supporting those people.
“We know how important it is for all road users to show more consideration and change their behaviour just a little to reduce the number of accidents and casualties.”
Every day, five people are killed and more than 60 people are seriously injured on UK roads. Road Safety Week is the UK’s flagship event to promote safer road use, coordinated annually by the charity Brake and involving thousands of schools, communities and organisations across the country.