Ellie Kidd with her head teacher and Al Faulkner from KFRS' road safety team
Two budding artists have beaten hundreds of children from across Kent and Medway to be named winners of Brake’s road safety poster competition.
Seven year-old Zeph Mangat, from Riverhead Infants School near Sevenoaks and Ellie Kidd who's eleven and from Snodland CEP School, wowed judges with their road safety messages. Their designs have been turned into large professional banners that have gone on display outside their schools. The messages – “Think about us” and “No need for speed” – will raise awareness in their community about the dangers of speeding.
Zeph and Ellie were among nearly 1,000 Kent children, aged 4-11, who entered the competition, supported by Kent Fire and Rescue Service and sponsored by Co-op Insurance.
The project, which included free resources for teachers, aimed to inspire and engage children about the need for drivers to slow down so kids can walk and cycle to school safely. It challenged children to create a poster about the dangers of adults speeding - something that puts kids' lives at risk every single day.
One winner was chosen in two age groups – key stage 1 (4-7), and key stage 2 (7-11).
As well as having their designs turned into large banners, Zeph and Ellie have also won a visit to their local fire stations and a visit from Brake mascot Zak the Zebra.
Zeph Mangat from Riverhead Infants School with his winning design and head teacher
Dave Nichols, community engagement manager at Brake, said: “The poster competition was a fantastic opportunity for schools, children and parents to work together to help raise awareness about the dangers of speeding in their local community – something that puts kids’ lives at risk every day. We were really impressed by the high standard of entries we received, but the judges all felt Zeph and Ellie’s designs showed real talent and knowledge about the subject for such a young age. A massive congratulations to them both and their schools.”
Sean Bone-Knell, director of operations at Kent Fire & Rescue Service, said: “The dangers of speeding are ever present on our roads every day and ensuring our children are aware of the dangers and are able to assist in encouraging drivers to slow down has to be a positive action. The quality of the final posters and the thinking behind their work is first class and I can see how these pictures will make any motorist think about their actions and raise awareness in the community. A huge thanks to Brake for this collaborative campaign and well done to all who took part.”
Miss Grimwood, Assistant Head Teacher at Riverhead Infants School in Sevenoaks said: “We’re delighted for Zeph, his design was excellent and clearly struck a chord with the judges. It’s wonderful to now have it on a large poster by the side of the road, giving drivers sound advice. Our students’ safety is such a priority here at Riverhead School, and to be part of the competition was so important, but to then go and win will help raise the profile of road safety even more.”
Holley Hunt, Headteacher at Snodland CEP School, said: "We were keen to take part in the competition as we are constantly talking to our parents and the community about keeping our children safe on the road and many of our children have to cross main roads to reach the school and it's vital that drivers slow down so that our children can cross safely."
Charles Offord, director of distribution and marketing at Co-op Insurance said: “It’s been fantastic to see so many children as young as four take part in an activity which aims to educate children on a very serious subject in such a fun and engaging way. We were delighted to be involved in the competition and we look forward to seeing how the children respond to the winning posters.”
Ellie Kidd from Snodland CEP wowed judges with her road safety message