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Brand new initiative hopes to promote farm safety in schools

A new initiative which aims to promote farm safety in schools in Northern Ireland has been launched recently by Ulster Bank, in conjunction with the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU), Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU), Health & Safety Executive of Northern Ireland and The Farm Safety Partnership.

As part of the initiative, young people aged 7-16 are being invited to submit ideas for a storyboard illustrating the potential dangers on a farm and how to stay safe.

A winning entry will be chosen by judges from these applications; which will then be made into a 30-second animated video that will be launched at this year’s Balmoral Show (May 10 – 13).

The competition will be judged by representatives from Ulster Bank, the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society, the Health and Safety Executive of Northern Ireland, the UFU and the YFCU.

In addition to having their idea produced, the winner will also receive an iPad and a pass for their class to the Balmoral Show 2017. Five runners-up will also be chosen, who will have their entries displayed at the four-day family and agri-food event, and will receive a pass for their class to attend the show.

Farming is one of Northern Ireland’s most important industries but it is also one fraught with risks, Ulster Bank Senior Agriculture Manager, Cormac McKervey, said.

“We believe that education has a centrally important role to play in helping prevent farm accidents and fatalities. That’s why we are pleased to partner with the HSE NI, the Farm Safety Partnership, and other organisations to create what we are confident will be a very useful resource” he added.

This initiative will encourage schools to highlight the issue of farm safety, Bryan Monson of the Health and Safety Executive of Northern Ireland said.

“It is hugely important to us that children understand the dangers they may encounter when playing on a farm. We value the role schools can play to deliver this message. We know that the competition will produce a very useful teaching resource which we look forward to using when delivering our school talks,” Mr. Monson added.

Young people interested in taking part in the competition can download a storyboard template from the Balmoral Show website. On this they should outline their farm safety stories; as well as explaining their ideas in 150 words or less.

The deadline for applications to the competition is set to close at 5pm on Friday, April 14.

Further info and details are available here.

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