Contest challenges pupils’ awareness

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Teenagers from a Hucknall school were praised for their “real understanding of the issues that needed to be addressed” by judges in an inter-school competition.

Ashfield Community Safety Partnership invited Year 10 students at each of the district’s secondary schools to produce an awareness-raising campaign aimed at promoting healthy relationships and tackling abuse within teenage relationships.

Five schools – Holgate Academy, Kirkby College, Quarrydale Academy, Selston High School and Sutton Community Academy - took part in the Dragons’ Den-style competition which came to a conclusion on Friday 7th March when each team gave a presentation about its campaign.

The team from Holgate Academy explained the choice of “Adolescent Bond” as the title for their campaign was deliberately obscure to enable young people who needed support to look at the website and other items they had produced without raising suspicion.

They made their presentation wearing T-shirts bearing the logo they had created and handed judges a resource pack with their research, resources and plans all included.

The judging panel was made up of Asst Chief Con Simon Torr, Equate Coordinator Claire Dixon, Head of Services for Nottinghamshire Women’s Aid Mandy Green, Louise Leckey from Nottinghamshire Independent Domestic Abuse Services (NIDAS), Paula Clarke from Women’s Aid Integrated Services (WAIS) and Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping.

The judges and the competition organisers praised all of the campaigns and it is expected that in future elements from them will be used across the county by domestic abuse service providers in their work with teenagers.

Winner of the competition was Sutton Community Academy.

whose “very original” song one of the team members had written, “fantastic logo” and “the strong messages” were highlighted by the judges.

Funded by the Community Safety Partnership, the project is organised by a planning group led by Nottinghamshire County Council Community Safety Officer Leah Sareen and including representatives from Ashfield’s schools, the Police, the Community Safety Partnership and experts in the theme crime type.

Commenting on this year’s competition, Leah Sareen said: “The level of entries was absolutely amazing; the teams had done their research, tried and tested their ideas on other students and budgeted their campaigns.

“The organisations that provide domestic abuse services in Nottinghamshire are very interested in using ideas that were presented. Dragons’ Den-style project 5 has proved invaluable in teaching those who work with young people what is effective when it comes to providing information and support around healthy relationships.”