Cedars Academy photography competition supports young disabled people

Students at The Cedars Academy in Gateshead have been highlighting how young disabled people can walk more and stay safer on the streets through a student-led photography competition supported by Schools Go Smarter.

Students at The Cedars Academy in Gateshead have been highlighting how young disabled people can walk more and stay safer on the streets through a student-led photography competition supported by Schools Go Smarter.

Delivered in partnership with Living Streets, the Walking Scavenger Hunt Photo Challenge Competition was organised by students from Cedars Academy Class 11 as part of the Move Makers initiative. The students in Class 11 challenged every class in the school to take more walks during the school day and look in detail at the positives of walking and the barriers for young disabled people on the street.

During the walks, each class were asked to take six photographs - three that demonstrated the good things about walking on the street and three that highlighted what could be barriers for disabled people.

Councillor John McElroy, Gateshead Council cabinet member for transport, joined students, The Cedars Academy’s Head Teacher and Schools Go Smarter Road Safety Officer to judge the competition and pick an overall winner, runner up and highly commended entry.

The Walking Scavenger Hunt Photo Challenge Competition forms part of The Cedars Academy student-led Move Makers’ project that helps young disabled people to become more independent and enjoy the benefits of active travel. A partnership between Schools Go Smarter and Living Streets, Move Makers works with five specialist schools across Tyne & Wear to encourage students to see active travel as the natural choice throughout the school day. Using the successful Campaign in a Box initiative, students at each school lead their own independent travel campaign, allowing them to identify the barriers and challenges they face on a daily basis, as well as exploring how they can build more walking into their day.

For many young disabled people, walking to school on their own can be a big step towards achieving more independence. The Cedars Academy photography competition has helped highlight the barriers to more independent, sustainable travel as well as reinforce the positive things in place that may encourage more young disabled people to walk more.  

Councillor John McElroy, Gateshead Council cabinet member for transport, said:

“It is great to see the students at Cedars Academy participating in the Move Makers’ competition. They have been able to identify and challenge the barriers to active travel and also explore what their local environment has to offer.

“The students have been really creative with their pictures and shown the streets from their point of view which I think is one of the most important aspects of the project.”

The winner in the primary school category of the Walking Scavenger Hunt Photo Challenge Competition was Cedars Academy Class 1 and the winner in the secondary school category was Class 8. Class 10 was also highly commended.