Sunderland pupil honoured at national awards ceremony

Above: Prize winner Gina Elliott with (l to r) Living Streets Chief Executive Tony Armstrong, Walk to School mascot Strider and author Loretta D'Souza

A pupil from Fulwell Junior School in Sunderland has been honoured at a London awards ceremony for designing a collectible badge which will be used to encourage school children to walk to school instead of being driven in the car.

Eight year old Gina Elliott from Fulwell designed a badge based on the theme ‘when I grow up’ to illustrate her ambition of becoming an author. The badge will be used as part of the Walk once a Week (WoW) scheme, organised by Living Streets, which encourages thousands of pupils to get fit and help the environment by walking to school.

Delivered by Living Streets on behalf of Schools Go Smarter, the Walk Once a Week (WoW) competition attracted thousands of entries from pupils across the UK.

Nick Clennett from Go Smarter explained: “We want to help school pupils to be fitter and healthier as well as helping the environment by choosing to walk to school at least once a week. Every year the children themselves design the special WoW badges and Gina’s fantastic entry was one of this year’s winners.

“Living Streets received more than 12,000 designs from more than 400 primary schools so it really is an amazing achievement to be chosen as a winner.”

Participation in the WoW scheme has been shown to increase walking rates by up to 26%. Each month pupils who walk to school at least once a week are rewarded with collectible badges. The scheme is supported by a range of classroom resources including the interactive Travel Tracker.

Nick Clennett said: “One in every five cars on the road at peak times is taking children to school, so by encouraging pupils to walk where possible we can make a real difference to traffic, pollution and congestion – not to mention the pupils’ health and fitness”.

Gina’s badge will be available to all schools taking part in the WoW scheme in 2014-15, along with 11 other winning designs.

More information on Living Streets’ WoW scheme can be found at www.livingstreets.org.uk/wow

(Above: Prize winner Gina Elliott with (l to r) Living Streets Chief Executive Tony Armstrong, Walk to School mascot Strider and author Loretta D'Souza)