Pupils from schools across the Cheshire have been given the chance to be radio stars for the day by recording their own adverts to highlight important safety messages.
It’s part of a competition launched by Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner, David Keane, and Cheshire Crimebeat to help young people spread the word to their peers about staying safe online and on the street.
The adverts are focused on the dangers young people face when using the internet and social media, what young people come across when they’re out and about and how to say ‘no’ to something they don’t want to do.
11 schools are through to the final stages of the competition and were given the opportunity to visit Cheshire Fire and Rescue’s education centre, Safety Central, in Lymm to professionally record their adverts.
The secondary and primary school pupils visited the centre’s four themed zones, where they were able to develop the skills and knowledge they need to stay safe at home, on the road and in the community in a truly immersive learning environment.
David Keane said: “We’ve had a fantastic response to this competition with more than 50 schools applying to take part.
“It has encouraged pupils to think about online and street safety and create their own content that can be easily understood by their peers and will hopefully make a difference to the way young people behave in potentially dangerous situations.
“I look forward to hearing all the adverts that the finalists have produced and presenting an award to the winners of the competition.”
Mark Watson, Cheshire Crimebeat coordinator, added: “I’ve been very impressed by the thoroughness of the research and understanding of the topics being discussed. What makes this project so very special is that the ‘message’ is conveyed in ‘young people’s language’.
“I heard many effective and memorable messages today, delivered in a variety of styles from young people from all over Cheshire, using their own voices to get punchy messages across in a very modern style. They all did a fantastic job.”
Cheshire residents will soon have the chance to vote for their favourite safety advert on social media as part of the final judging round of the competition.
Following this, first, second, third and special category winners will be commended at a presentation event in June with the overall winner receiving a golden disc trophy from the commissioner.
The schools worked with Cheshire Safer Schools and Young People Partnership and media production company, Collaborate Digital, to produce the adverts.
PC Amy Fletcher, police youth engagement coordinator with Cheshire Safer Schools and Young People Partnership, said: “I’ve been really impressed with the quality of entries, the passion of the young people involved and want to thank all the teachers and staff who have supported this media campaign, which has been very well organised by Collaborate Digital.
“A big thanks to Mr Keane and Cheshire Crimebeat for enabling this to go ahead this year.”
Collaborate Digital director, Mark Matthews, added: “Creativity is the perfect way to get across important subjects like online and street safety.
“These young people blew us away with their creative ideas, script-writing and performance. The judges have a tough job on their hands.”