North east primary school pupils win national carbon monoxide competition

Bobbie-Jo Ramsay, from Waverley Primary School in Newcastle and Kayla Bertram, from Glendale Middle School in Wooler, Northumberland, are celebrating after winning a national competition designed to help save lives.

Launched by Northern Gas Networks (NGN), the North of England’s gas distributor, with the aim of encouraging primary school children to learn more about the dangers of Carbon Monoxide (CO), the competition challenged pupils aged five to seven, and eight to 11, to design their very own CO villain character to rival hero Safety Seymour.

The competition acted as an extension to the Safety Seymour education programme, developed by Cadent Gas and run within schools by Northern Gas Networks, Cadent Gas, Wales & West Utilities and SGN. The sessions help pupils and in turn, their families, learn more about the associated risks of CO, which has proven to save lives.

The initiative has recently been celebrated as part of the Pride of Britain Awards, with seven-year-old Jaydee-Lee Dummett having won the Child of Courage accolade this year for saving the lives of her family members after learning about the dangers of the harmful gas in school.

Schools from across the country took part in the competition and the winning entries, Beymour Sickly and Gary the Gas Fire, were chosen from more than 500 entries, inspiring the judges with their creativity and a clear understanding of the CO safety messages. Competition runners up were Sophia Cleugh from Newcastle, Kallia Lowe from Northallerton and Theo Wigley and Jasmine Mudahy from Dulwich, South London.

Tom Bell, Head of Social Strategy at Northern Gas Networks, said: “As a company, we’re passionate about educating the communities in which we work, helping them learn more about gas safety. The Safety Seymour programme aims to further engage children across the UK and draw attention to this important topic.

“We have had an incredible number of entries, and it was a pleasure to see how creative and imaginative many of them were. It was very difficult to make a final decision, so huge congratulations to Bobbie-Jo Ramsay and Kayla Bertram. Bobbie–Jo’s ‘Gary the Gas Fire’ design showed a lot of imagination, capturing a perfect understanding of the dangers, while Kayla’s ‘Beymour Sickly’ embodied the severity of CO poisoning. We hope that all entrants can take away the important messages around CO and remember them throughout life.”

Jane Thomson, teacher at Waverley Primary School, added: “To be selected from almost 550 entries is a fantastic achievement, and we couldn’t be prouder of Bobbie-Jo for what they’ve achieved. The design was incredibly imaginative, and we can’t wait to see it brought to life. We’d like to extend a huge thanks to Northern Gas Networks for not only running the competition but raising awareness for the topic of Carbon Monoxide safety on the whole, which is helping to save lives.”

Alternatively, if you’re keen to find out more about holding your own Safety Seymour session within your primary school, please email stakeholder@northerngas.co.uk.

For more information about Northern Gas Networks please visit northerngasnetworks.co.uk.

Anyone that smells gas or suspects carbon monoxide should call the National Gas Emergency Service immediately on 0800 111 999. This line is in operation 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

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