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Winner announced from more than 150 entries in ‘virtual’ schools competition

More than 150 entries from young people across Northamptonshire were received for the Virtual Community Safety Challenge Covid-19… and a winner has now been decided.

The competition, asked secondary school pupils to take on a creative challenge to design ways to make people think about and to raise awareness of important Covid-19 messages.

The challenge reached more than 5500 students from 13 schools. Students worked by themselves or in virtual teams, sent in a variety of inspired entries, ranging from songs and poems to posters, short stories, online campaigns and even diaries.

A panel of judges, including Chief Fire Officer Darren Dovey, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold and Director of Public Health for Northamptonshire County Council Lucy Wightman, pondered the entries and named Elliott Cartwright from Prince William School in Oundle as the winner.

Elliott submitted a video in which he played different characters and used props to illustrate some simple messages about how important it is to maintain social distancing and protect others from the spread of Coronavirus.

Elliott said: “I really enjoyed creating the video. I didn’t expect to win but I had a lot of fun making it.”

Deputy headteacher Ant Kennedy said: “Prince William School is delighted that Elliott has won the Virtual School Challenge this year. Elliott is an excellent student and his entry was skilful and imaginative. Well done to him!”

Laura Jones, Prevention Manager at Northamptonshire Police and chair of the County Schools Challenge Steering Group said: “We were thrilled to receive such a huge number of entries from 13 schools in the space of just a matter of weeks, and the young people who sent their ideas gave the panel of judges a very tough job in deciding who should be the winner. Well done to Elliott Cartwright– we loved his video and the way he presented the messages.

“We decided to hold this competition because we wanted to reach out to schools and young people in the county at what is such a strange and challenging time for all. The students really impressed us with their talents and enthusiasm to get involved in raising awareness of the vital safety messages of this pandemic.”

The winner will receive a family day pass to Wicksteed Park, which was kindly donated by the attraction and can be used when the park is able to fully reopen after the current Covid-19 pandemic restrictions are reduced.

The competition’s joint runners up were: year 7 pupil Luna, who created a poster illustrating the ‘cycle to beat coronavirus,’ and Northampton International Academy pupil Bethany Pentland-Inwood (year 7), for her Covid-19 themed poem.

The Northamptonshire County Schools Challenge steering group have provided a gift voucher of choice to the top 3 entrants. All children who entered will also receive a certificate acknowledging their work.

The competition was launched by the organisers of the Northamptonshire County Schools Challenge, an annual competition led by Northamptonshire Police, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service and numerous partner agencies in the county.

When this year’s inter-schools challenge could not be held, it was decided that young people in the county should be given a ‘virtual’ competition to enter instead.

With everyone, #NorthantsTogether, from the emergency services and councils, to thousands of volunteers and the public all pulling together during the crisis, the challenge offered young people the chance to get involved in helping keep everyone safe.

Runner-up entries below:

Poem by Bethany Pentland-Inwood:

Poem by Bethany

Poster by Luna:

Winner announced from more than 150 entries in ‘virtual’ schools competition


Watch Elliott’s winning video below:

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