Year 10 students at Hebburn Comprehensive School have won a national competition for creating a campaign raising awareness of the dangers of under-age boozing and smoking.
The Campbell Park Road school’s ten-strong team, called the Hebburn Heroes, was given £1,000 in prize money for coming out on top in the Create a Campaign contest, run by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI).
The youngsters were commended for their campaign’s title – ‘Your Life, Your Future, Your Choice’ – as the competition’s judges felt it would resonate with young people.
The judges were also impressed by their video setting out the good and bad choices available to their peers.
The competition was launched in February by public health minister Jane Ellison to encourage schools and youth groups across the UK to help raise awareness of the health risks associated with under-age sales of tobacco and alcohol products.
Claire Moore, the Hebburn youngsters’ supervisor, said: “The pupils really wanted to make something that mattered. They never thought for a single second that they would win.
“We are all excited and delighted to win such an amazing prize.
“The pupils are thinking hard about what they can use the money for as they want to do something for the school that will have a long-term impact for all pupils.
“I am lucky to work with such a talented and brilliant bunch.”
CTSI chief executive Leon Livermore said: “The Create a Campaign competition has been a fantastic opportunity to educate young people about the damaging effects of drinking and smoking under-age and the preventative work that trading standards teams do to tackle this issue.
“When it came to the final judging, we were impressed by the high standard of entries, and it was incredibly tough to pick just two winning entries from the shortlist.
“In the end, though, we were unanimous in agreement that our two winners produced the best campaigns in terms of their creativity and overall appeal to the target audience.
“Looking to the future, we hope to see some of these ideas being picked up in under-age sales campaigns across the country.”
Reading’s 5th Tilehurst Guides won the contest’s other top award, for a campaign aimed at retailers, also picking up a £1,000 prize provided by sponsor Waitrose.