TWO youngsters who put their creative talents to the test to warn others of ‘stranger danger’ have been praised by police.
Dominic Stidolph and Holly Dawson, both six, were among the pupils at Lord Blyton Primary, South Shields, to take part in a poster contest.
Youngsters at the school in Simonside, South Shields, had been asked to design a poster on the ‘stranger danger’ theme after a talk by community support officer Steve Joynes.
The visit, by the CSO in October, was prompted by the abduction of April Jones, five, in Wales, to highlight the importance of youngsters not talking to strangers.
The competition was run by Simonside Neighbourhood Watch in conjunction with police, with the winners being chosen by residents who attended the group’s recent meeting.
CSO Joynes said: “It’s really important to keep raising awareness of ‘stranger danger’.
“Thankfully, there has not been incidents of this nature in South Tyneside, but that doesn’t mean the message should not be repeated regularly.
“The youngsters took on board the advice and I’m really pleased with the number of posters entered for the competition.”
The youngsters were presented with their winning designs in a frame and each received a family pass to children’s soft playcentre, Pirates Cove, in Jarrow.
Headteacher Jo Atherton said: “The school has a great relationship with the police and it is important to keep the ‘stranger danger’ message fresh in the minds of our young people.
“The pupils got a lot from the talk by Steve and have a great rapport with him and really enjoyed designing the posters on this theme.”
Dominic, who was overjoyed with his win, said: “I really enjoyed drawing the poster.
“The picture is of me telling a stranger no, because that’s what you have to do.
“I am really happy I’ve won and I’m really excited to go to Pirates Cove.”
Ray Maxted, owner of Pirates Cove, said: “We have grandchildren and we know how important getting messages like this one across is.
“We were only too happy to support the competition by donating family passes as prizes. Anything which helps to promote child safety has to be supported.”
Paul Seymour, of Simonside’s Neighbourhood Watch, said: “The posters were all very nice and we were all impressed with the effort that the children put into them.
“Choosing the winner was very difficult as they were all so good.”