A performance poet has been helping kids from four County Durham primary schools get creative in the cause of road safety.

In a series of workshops organised by Durham County Council, Bernard Young visited Our Lady and St Thomas RCVA Primary School, Willington; Cockton Hill Infants School, Bishop Auckland; St Stephen’s CE Primary School, Willington; and Willington Primary School.

Aided by his guitar, Bernard entertained the pupils with renditions of his interactive poems, such as Brilliant and Lady Lollipop.

Bernard’s workshops were delivered as part of the Slow to 20 for Safer Streets project.

The sessions also included guidance on how to compose in different poetry styles and a talk from the council’s road safety team. The children then had a go at creating and performing their own poems about road safety.

Cockton Hill Infants Slow to 20
Bernard Young with pupils from Cockton Hill Infants School, Bishop Auckland

Durham County Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, Cllr Brian Stephens, said, “The road safety poetry workshops are part of a programme of enhanced road safety training which we are delivering to schools.”

“We commissioned Bernard as we knew he would capture the pupils’ imaginations and really make them think about how to stay safe on the roads.”

“The sessions are a fantastic, fun way to teach young people what is actually a very serious message, helping them to gain the knowledge and skills they need to become safer pedestrians and cyclists.”

The Slow to 20 for Safer Streets programme is reducing speed limits around schools across County Durham to 20 miles per hour. All the four schools that hosted the workshops now have surrounding areas with speed limits of 20.

For more information about the Slow to 20 for Safer Streets campaign, please visit www.durham.gov.uk/slowto20. You can also contact the council’s road safety team by calling 03000 268 175.

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