To engage the local community in support of Telford and Wrekin Council’s efforts to improve road safety, DENSO Manufacturing UK Ltd unveiled a design competition for young children earlier this year.
It was aimed at engaging all road users in improving road safety through the creation of powerful safety messages. This partnership was further strengthened by the support of the Shropshire Star.
Children from primary schools across the Telford and Wrekin borough were invited to take part in the competition to create road safety images for signs that are now installed on the community traffic island at Hortonwood, near DENSO’s Telford manufacturing plant.
Each school was invited to submit up to four entries in four categories: Cycle Safety – Bikeability; Be Bright, Be Seen; Seatbelt Safety; and Pedestrian Safety.
Staff and pupils from the winning schools attended a special ceremony at DENSO on Monday, where they were presented with their awards along with a £500 bursary cheque for road safety promotion.
A welcoming speech was given by DENSO managing director Mark Hayward, and attendees also heard a special address from Councillor David Wright, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Housing, Transport & Infrastructure.
Winners in the category of Cycle Safety – Bikeability were pupils from Redhill Primary School, while Lilleshall Primary School created the winning design in the Be Bright, Be Seen category. The winning sign for Seatbelt Safety was designed by pupils from St Matthews C.E. Primary School, and the winning entry for Pedestrian Safety was created by students from Hadley Learning Community Primary School.
Phil Tomlinson, of DENSO, said: “We are delighted with the participation of the young children – the next generation – and with the creative designs and strong promotional messages they have made.
“These designs are now installed on the community island and will be used to promote road safety messages for the remainder of the year. A huge thank you for all the schools and children that took part in the competition. With Telford & Wrekin Council and the Shropshire Star we now hope to make this competition an annual event.”
Cllr Wright said: “This is about raising awareness around road safety issues right across the community and the fact that it’s a partnership between the council and a major employer within the town, and the major local newspaper, means it has quite a significant impact.
We’re out in schools all year round talking about road safety with children, and we have teams of staff that go in and talk to young people about road safety, about awareness and about keeping themselves safe, and I think that’s really important and it often translates across to parents who start to think about the impact of things like speeding. The designs the children have come up with are superb, and I think when you see those designs as you drive around the island near DENSO, it’s a prompt to think about the impact of road safety in relation to children. The work that they have done is inspiring.”
Telford & Wrekin Council has worked with DENSO for several years on a number of local community initiatives. “One of the things that DENSO does really well is it takes its corporate social responsibility seriously, so it has put together a number of projects with us over the years and this whole theme around road safety is just one of those,” added Cllr Wright. “It’s quite appropriate that it is happening this week because it’s ‘road safety week’. It’s about raising awareness around issues related to road safety throughout the week and this has been a great event to launch that.”
Competition entrants were proud of the work they had done, and inspired by the idea of helping other people to be safe on the road. Dyllon Adu-Takyi, aged eight, said: “I think it’s important because if you don’t know anything about the road, a car might crash into you.”
Maia Roberts, aged eight, added: “I feel proud because it shows respect to other people because you’re looking after them.”
The community island was re-designed by DENSO last year and given as a gift to the community as part of Telford’s 50th anniversary celebrations. It is used to promote key messages, particularly relating to road safety.
“The main causes for the occurrence of traffic accidents are vehicles, infrastructure and people,” said Mark Hayward. “Aiming to realise a society without traffic accidents, DENSO offers products that ensure safety. Initiatives such as this competition may well help us to realise zero traffic accidents in our Telford community.
“In addition, DENSO also implements traffic safety educational activities, which are carried out by employees, for members of local communities around the world.
“DENSO Manufacturing UK Ltd has actively promoted numerous road safety education programmes with particular focus on bike safety and pedestrian safety. Our company has prioritised young people and accessed them through the local school network. We have already engaged 32 schools and 1,400 children through our actions.”