South Tyneside youngsters asked to lead fight against smoking

Youngsters in South Tyneside are being invited to put smokers in the picture - to persuade people to stub out cigarettes.

Daniel Clifford from the Customs House.
Daniel Clifford from the Customs House.

Schools and youth groups are being invited to mmake their own anti-smoking advert in a joint project by South Tyneside Council and the Customs House.

Amateur editors, writers, camera crew and directors will take up the challenge of competing for the prize of designing a new smoking prevention campaign.

Do you know someone who could help lead the campaign?

Smoking is a serious problem in South Tyneside. In a 2017 health survey, 5% of Year 8 pupils and 11% of Year 11 pupils said they had smoked a cigarette the previous week and 35% of pupils stated that a parent or carer smoked.

Eleven per cent of primary pupils stated that someone they live with smoked in the same room as them.

Students and members of community groups will submit proposals, scripts and storyboards to a judging panel, which includes video production experts, who will then work with the competition winners to develop the campaign video.

Daniel Clifford, learning and participation officer at the Customs House - in Mill Dam, South Shields - said: “Schools and organisations will compete against each other, and the winning team will gain experience learning from film and media professionals.

Do you know someone who could help lead the campaign?

“The successful video will receive widespread coverage. This will help people in the region and beyond better communicate the dangers of smoking to young people.”

He added: “This project not only has the obvious bonus of teaching the risks of smoking, but it also has the potential to inspire creativity.

“We expect to see some wonderful ideas.”

Coun Tracey Dixon, lead member for independence and wellbeing at South Tyneside Council, said: “We are looking for young people to help us find out why they start smoking in the first place and what would encourage them most to give up.

“By getting the opinions of our young people, we can then use that information to make sure our campaigns have more impact.

“We want young people owning the project – it is their campaign.”

Coun Joan Atkinson, lead member for children, young people and families, added: “We know from involving our young people in previous campaigns that they are incredibly creative and imaginative.

“By empowering them, we truly believe they can help us to reach out to their peers and deliver a strong-anti- smoking message.”

People have until November 29 to send their entry, and the final roll out of the winning video with be in January, 2018.