Winner Finty Lovett, pictured with Acting Chief Inspector Andy McDonald
Millie Long, pictured with Acting Chief Inspector Andy McDonald
Bonnie Henderson, pictured with Acting Chief Inspector Andy McDonald
Mattie Johnson, pictured with Acting Chief Inspector Andy McDonald
Schoolchildren on the Isle of Wight have been praised for their outstanding and creative efforts to support Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary’s winter drink drive campaign.
Between 7 November and 29 November, The Ryde Neighbourhoods Policing Team (NPT) ran a competition for Year 6 pupils from 13 schools on the Island to design a compelling and eye-catching campaign poster about the topic.
Around 200 posters were designed by the enthusiastic youngsters, and four were shortlisted for prizes by a panel of judges made up of The High Sheriff of the Isle of Wight Kay Marriott, Acting Chief Inspector Andy McDonald, Louise Walker from Isle of Wight Ambulance Service and Annie Staley, whose granddaughter Evey was killed by a drink driver on the Island in August 2012.
The winning entry was announced at a ceremony at Ryde Fire Station on Friday 9 December, which was attended by the four designers and their families, the panel of judges, as well as officers from Ryde NPT, and staff from Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Service.
Finty Lovett, aged 10, scooped first place and was offered first pick of the prizes, which included a short caravan and hot tub break donated by Away Resorts, a family ticket to Robin Hill’s Polar Bear Extravaganza, a family ticket for Tapnell Farm, and a family ticket for the Isle of Wight Steam Railway.
Millie Long, aged 10 took second place and 11-year-old Bonnie Henderson was awarded third place.
Annie Staley and the High Sheriff also presented a certificate of high commendation to Mattie Johnson for her fantastic poster design.
As a thank you for all of their efforts, each school that took part in the competition was given a tin of chocolates donated by Tesco.
The posters will be displayed at various locations across the Island including pubs, restaurants, shops, libraries, and GP surgery notice boards.
Speaking at the event, Acting Chief Inspector Andy McDonald said: “In the last 10 years, 200-300 people have died on UK roads as a result of somebody drink driving. That’s not accounting for injuries and damage to property.
“It’s still seen as one of those things that’s socially acceptable in some walks of life. We will always prosecute when we find people committing this kind of offence. I think I speak for all of our partners when I say we don’t want this to happen in the first place.
“Raising awareness is so important, and the Staley family have done an amazing job over the last 10 years of highlighting such an important topic on the Isle of Wight.
“You can never have too much awareness, and what stronger message can we put out than having the voices of Island young people talking about the consequences of drinking and driving.”
Isle of Wight High Sheriff Kay Marriott said at the ceremony: “It is always a great honour for me to be involved in these community events, and it has been particularly good fun to look through all of the wonderful posters.
“Shortlisting winners was a really difficult decision so well done to the four who came this evening.
“I want to thank all of the emergency services who really embraced this and have been instrumental in making this happen. It is a real privilege for me to play a small part in it.
“On behalf of the community, I want to say thank you to everyone who has participated, and I look forward to seeing the posters all around the Island.”
Lewis Campbell, Road Safety Officer for Isle of Wight Council, said: “We're grateful for the proactive road safety education being delivered in schools by the Ryde Neighbourhoods Policing Team. This work boosts the profile of road safety on the Island, raises awareness around the serious issue of drink driving and compliments the Isle of Wight Council's Christmas advertising campaign.
“We would like to send a huge congratulations to the competition winners Finty, Millie and Bonnie. Great work!
“Lastly, the Isle of Wight Council’s Junior Travel Ambassador programme provides guidance and resources for primary schools who wish to deliver road safety education to their pupils. We encourage any interested schools to contact the Council.”
[L-R] Louise Walker from IOW Ambulance Service, Annie Staley, Bonnie Henderson, Acting Chief Inspector Andy McDonald (back centre), Millie Long, Mattie Johnson, High Sheriff Kay Marriott, and Ryde Fire Station Commander Christopher Thearle
Members of Ryde NPT, IOW Ambulance Service, and Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Service, pictured with High Sheriff Kay Marriott