A new book promoting farm safety for children is to be created by school pupils across Northern Ireland as part of an important initiative launched by Ulster Bank.
As principal sponsors of the Balmoral Show, Ulster Bank is working in partnership with popular farm safety educational resource AgriKids to encourage children to be more aware of the risks that can arise when playing near a farmyard.
The competition, which has received support from the Health & Safety Executive NI as well as the RUAS, asks school children to create a story based on Agrikids ‘Tales from Riverside Farm’ book series using the characters to illustrate potential dangers based around the Farm Safety Partnership’s four main priority areas: Slurry, Animals, Falls and Equipment.
A winning entry based on each of the four areas will be selected by a panel of judges representing Ulster Bank, the RUAS and the Health and Safety Executive NI. The entries will then be used to create a book of short stories based on the children’s ideas and including the winner’s original illustrations which will be launched at this year’s Balmoral Show.
Entries can be made until 5pm on Friday 8th April 2016 by any school pupil in Northern Ireland aged 7-16 and stories should be no longer than 400 words. As well as having their story published, winners will also receive a selection of AgriKids books and merchandise for their school along with a trip for their whole class to the Balmoral Show 2016.
Ulster Bank’s Senior Agriculture Manager Cormac McKervey said: “Farming is one of our most important industries here in Northern Ireland but it is not an industry without risks. There is great work being done the HSENI and others, but we all realise that there is still much work to be done to reduce farming accidents.
“Farming is one of our most important industries here in Northern Ireland but it is not an industry without risks. There is great work being done the HSENI and others, but we all realise that there is still much work to be done to reduce farming accidents.”Cormac McKervey, Senior Agriculture Manager, Ulster Bank
“We believe that educating children about the potential risks is the most effective way to ensure their safety which is why we are delighted to partner with the RUAS, AgriKids and the Health and Safety Executive NI to help make sure this very important message is heard and to create what we believe will be a very useful resource to help promote safety on farms.”
Pupils can download an entry template from http://balmoralshow.co.uk/pdfs/school-zone-2016.pdf and draft their 400 word story complete with illustrations before returning it to Ulster Bank by no later than 5pm on the 8th April. The winning entries will be compiled into a book and ebook which will be available for download to every school in Northern Ireland and officially launched on the first day of the Balmoral Show.
Further information and full details are available at: http://balmoralshow.co.uk/schools-zone.html.
The campaign builds on Ulster Bank’s support for farm safety. Last year’s video competition (Stay out of harm down on the farm) has had over 70,000 views on social media.
The ‘Tales from Riverside Farm’ series was created in 2015 by Alma Jordan, a farmer’s wife who felt that not enough was being done to educate children directly about the importance of playing safely near a farm. As a keen advocator for outdoor play, Alma wants to encourage children to enjoy the countryside but to remain safe while doing so. Each story in the series deals with a particular aspect of farm safety and is told through the adventures and exploits of Tom and Sarah and their magical hedge sprite friend Mr Brambles, who is often called upon to come and save the day.