School pupils create Smokefree park signs

Published Wednesday, 11th July 2018
School children create Smokefree park signs
Front row: Mckenzie, Brenn, Ethan Middle row: Olivia, Charlotte, Gloria, Sinead, Mya Back row: Mayoress of Rotherham, Mrs Buckley, Mayor of Rotherham Cllr Buckley and Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, Cllr David Roche.

Smokefree park signs created by local school children will soon be seen in outdoor play areas across Rotherham.

The designs have been created in an effort to protect residents from the dangers of second-hand smoke and to help prevent youngsters from picking up a smoking habit.

Pupils from Maltby, Canklow and West Melton schools were invited to enter into a poster design competition as part of Rotherham Council’s Smokefree Parks initiative to raise awareness of the dangers of smoking and to encourage people to stop smoking tobacco and e-cigarettes in and arounds children’s play areas.

The eight winning poster drawings, made into signs thanks to funding from local ward Councillors, will be installed over the school summer holidays.

Cabinet Member for Public Health, Councillor David Roche, said: “We want children to grow up in safe, secure neighbourhoods where they will thrive and develop.

“I welcome these poster signs to help reduce both active smoking and its role modelling in front of children. And, by championing designs made by children themselves, we are sending a strong message that we are serious about smoking cessation and prevention.

“We are all aware that smoking has been banned in public buildings since 2007 but people can still smoke in outdoor spaces where children play such as parks. Not only can this result in children inhaling other people’s smoke, but it can also increase the chances of children copying the habit. We want our children to breathe smoke-free air in all areas but especially our parks where they can go to keep and get healthy.”

Wards supporting the initiative include Sitwell, Wingfield, Valley, Holderness, Maltby, Rotherham West, Hoober, Boston Castle, and Silverwood Ward.

The competition winners from Crags Community School, Canklow Wood Primary School and West Melton Primary School, parents and teachers were invited to a celebration and awards event at Rotherham Town Hall, where the Mayor of Rotherham Cllr Buckley and Mayoress Mrs Buckley presented the children with a framed copy of their designs to keep.

In addition to the children the Town Hall event was attended by parents, teachers, local ward councillors and the Council teams behind the initiative; Public Health, Neighbourhoods, Parks and Greenspaces.

1. Nine Wards: Sitwell, Wingfield, Valley, Holderness, Maltby, Rotherham West, Hoober, Boston Castle, Silverwood have funded the ‘Smokefree Parks initiative’.

2. School competition winners that took part in the Smokefree Initiative:

  • Crags Community School – Brenn and Mckenzie’s designs were chosen by Maltby Councillors
  • West Melton Primary School – Sinead’s design was chosen by Hoober Councillors.
  • Canklow Woods Primary Schools – Charlotte, Gloria, Olivia, Mya and Ethan designs were chosen by Boston Castle Councillors.

3. During 2016-17 the number of quitters in Rotherham rose by 5% on the previous year to 1,200, whilst nationally during the same period the number of quitters dropped by 20%. The number of quitters in the borough demonstrates that giving up the habit is achievable.

4. For more information and for advice and tips on quitting smoking, visit:

Visit the Yorkshire Smokefree website

Call Yorkshire Smokefree on 0800 6120011

(Free from a landline)

Call Yorkshire Smokefree on 0330 6601166

(Free from most mobiles)