Parents urged to ‘stick together’ on road safety

Published Wednesday 2 December 2015 at 15:29

Darwen Children’s Centre hosted a road safety event last week as part of an ongoing campaign to ensure that the simplest road safety measure of all – holding hands – keeps more children safe on the streets of Blackburn with Darwen.

The Sticky Hands campaign, delivered by Blackburn with Darwen Council, encourages parents and carers to hold their young children’s hands on the routes to and from school and nursery.

The Darwen event, took place last Friday November 27 during road safety charity Brake’s Road Safety Week – the UK’s biggest road safety event, involving thousands of schools, organisations and community groups every year.

On the day children and families were invited to wear bright clothes and take part in activities such as hand printing onto canvas and making a safety pledge. There was a digital competition with the opportunity to win four shopping vouchers.

Other activities included toy car Olympics; singing to songs such as ‘Wheels on the Bus’; stories about road safety; craft activities and role play to learn about pedestrian safety skills.

A local PSCO also talked to children and families about keeping safe on the roads. Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service were also in attendance with a fire engine and there were also traffic-themed refreshments available in the community café.

The Council’s Connect Team were on hand to promote sustainable travel options. Connect’s School Programme provides the only expertise in Blackburn with Darwen to deliver the setting up of Walking buses and Park & Stride initiatives.  In partnership with schools and Modeshift (a leading sustainable travel organisation) initiatives are being delivered locally with schools to encourage an increase in walking and cycling and a decrease in car use providing safer routes in and around our schools.

The Council’s DASH Team promoted their child home safety scheme and energy efficiency services. The Council’s neighbourhood Team were also on hand with information and advice on safety.

As part of the Sticky Hands project every children’s centre and primary school in the borough was issued with a Sticky Hands pack, featuring ‘Let’s stick together’ wrist bands for children and message-reinforcing playground games. The pack also includes posters which allow schools to set their own ‘Sticky Hand Zones.’

The project is a key part of the borough’s multi-agency accident prevention strategy developed to prevent the harms caused by accidents in Blackburn with Darwen. Accident prevention is also a key priority of the Blackburn with Darwen Health and Wellbeing Board.

Councillor Stephanie Brookfield, the borough’s Road Safety Champion, said:

This was a fantastic event that I was delighted to attend. To see all the enthusiasm for the campaign and fun all the children were having, whilst learning some vitally important lessons, was brilliant to see. Staying safe when crossing the road is a message every school, parent and carer tries to reinforce with their children. We’ve tried through this project to ensure hand-holding is a habit everyone sticks to.

Councillor Maureen Bateson, Executive Member for Children’s Services, said:

It was great to be there and see so many children and families engage in a fun way with the very serious messages behind this campaign. This project is about teaching parents and carers that they can control the single simplest road safety measure of all – holding hands – and by sticking together we can keep as many children as possible safe on our streets.

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