Artistic youngsters from across Devon are being invited to enter an annual competition to come up with something creative that warns of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) and win cash prizes for themselves and their local school or organisation.
The competition, which is being led by Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service for the area, is urging local pupils aged 5-11 to produce an eye-catching poster, poem or entry in another medium, like a film, which is both informative and accurate, and warns of the dangers of CO poisoning and how to avoid them.
During 2016, Wales & West Utilities attended 340 incidents across Devon that were CO related and the company is hoping by taking part in the competition more people will become aware of the dangers and the warning signs to look out for.
As part of the competition Wales & West Utilities will pick two winners – one from Key Stage 1 and one from Key Stage 2 – who will personally receive £150 and £300 for their school / organisation (which can include uniformed organisations such as Scouts, Brownies and Guides). They will then go forward to a national competition where they have a chance to win £300 for themselves and £600 for their school/organisation, in addition to the area winner prize.
Each winner will also be invited to attend a prize-giving ceremony in the Palace of Westminster. Entrants must be received by Friday 5 May 2017 and judging will take place by the 5 June 2017.
Known as the silent killer, accidental – and therefore preventable – CO poisoning is responsible for around 40 deaths, 200 hospitalisations each year. In the UK, there are more than 4,000 visits to Accident and & Emergency for treatment of CO poisoning – which can often lead to lasting neurological damage.
Symptoms of CO poisoning are often confused with flu, especially in winter, as they include severe headaches, a sore throat, dizziness, coughing, feeling sick, and a general lack of energy.
Wales & West Utilities Head of Emergency Service, Clive Book, said:
“We work hard to raise awareness of the deathly dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and this competition is a key part of that. We hope the competition will be an enjoyable way to improve carbon monoxide awareness and I would encourage as many young people as possible to enter.
“Unfortunately each year we make over 2,000 visits to properties where we find evidence of carbon monoxide – and put simply, having more awareness of its dangers could save lives”.
The competition across the south west of England and Wales was recently launched by ex-Wales and British Lions rugby player, Tom Shanklin, who said:
“This competition presents a fantastic opportunity for youngsters across Devon to have some fun, put their creative talents to good use, while also spreading the vitally important safety message.
“There’s some fantastic prizes to be won and I’d urge young people to get involved!”
Entries can be emailed to: COschoolcompetition@energynetworks.org by 5th May 2017.
Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If anyone smells gas, thinks they have a gas leak, or suspects carbon monoxide poisoning, they should call us on 0800 111 999 and our engineers will be there to help, day or night.Follow