Five Greater Manchester primary schools have picked up prizes after producing radio and TV commercials to help tackle air pollution in Greater Manchester.
Children from shortlisted schools across the region watched and listened to their adverts on the big screen at Manchester’s HOME yesterday, where winners were chosen in ‘Best Video’, ‘Best Audio’ and ‘Social Media Challenge’ categories.
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) invited schools to produce the commercials as part of a competition run by digital agency ucreate for last month’s Greater Manchester Clean Air Day. The activity was designed to raise awareness of air pollution and encourage everyone to do their bit to clean up the air in their community.
Ladybarn Primary School in Withington won the Best Video award for their commercial which suggests that pupils walk, cycle, take their scooter, or travel by public transport to school. Gorse Hall School in Stalybridge was runner-up.
Radcliffe Hall Primary School won the Best Audio advert category, with their entry featuring the sounds of a happy, healthy world with clean air contrasted with the sounds of congestion and pollution. Leigh Central Primary School was runner-up.
Bury Catholic Preparatory School scooped the Social Media Challenge title for their animation showing the importance of clean air for health, with more than 4,000 views online. Ladybarn Primary School pupils were runners-up in this category.
Winners and runners-up have all received cycling equipment vouchers, provided by Jacobs Consultancy, and all pupils whose entries were shortlisted have received a walking and cycling goodie bag.
Commenting on the competition, Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “Too many people in Greater Manchester are breathing in air that’s harming their health. Air pollution is contributing to thousands of hospital admissions every year.
“We all need to do something to clean up our air and to have that message brought to life by some fantastic creative videos, animations and audio recordings made by Greater Manchester’s young people is very powerful.
“I’d like to congratulate all of the schools which have taken part and thank them for their outstanding work in raising awareness of this vital issue.”
Helen Smith, TfGM’s Head of Logistics, Environment and Active Travel, closed the awards ceremony in Cinema 2 at HOME. She said: “Many congratulations to all of the schools who took part in this competition. It’s clear a lot of effort has gone into the adverts and picking winners was certainly not easy.
“You can’t see air pollution but, unfortunately, our young people breathe in dangerous pollutants every day. The competition has helped drive a serious message home in a fun way, raising awareness and encouraging children and their families to walk, cycle and take public transport where possible.”
Alexa Cree, Assistant Head Teacher and Year 4 class teacher at Ladybarn Primary School, said: “We loved learning about all of the ways in which we can help to reduce air pollution in Manchester.
“The children had so many exciting ideas and mastered lots of new skills when making the video. They’ve been so passionate about the project and we hope it makes a difference to air quality in Greater Manchester.”
Helen Hunter, Year 2 teacher and IT Coordinator at Bury Catholic Preparatory Primary School, said: “Air pollution is such an important issue which people need to know about and Year 6 jumped at the chance to raise awareness.
“In our IT lessons the children independently created their advert and I’m really proud of all their hard work.”