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Schools drama contest highlights road safety issues

Drama students performed their own hard-hitting production during a Lancashire-wide road safety competition this week.

The Beats is a multi-agency drama-based education programme, offered to schools by Lancashire County Council’s Safer Travel Team. The performances brought to life all kinds of issues relevant to young road users, from the consequences of taking risks behind the wheel, to how to resist peer pressure from friends to take part in dangerous behaviour on the roads.

Our Lady’s Catholic High School, Preston, took the winning trophy home after their performance which highlighted how even small mistakes on the roads could lead to devastating consequences.

Unity College from Burnley, and Hutton Grammar School from South Ribble, were the runners up on the night.

Six schools reached the final of the competition and were invited to perform at the Charter Theatre in Preston which was packed with fellow students, parents and teachers. Councillors representing Lancashire County Council, Lancaster City Council and Wyre Council were also in attendance.

The performances were judged by chief inspector Damian Kitchen from Lancashire Constabulary, area manager Mark Hutton from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, director of public health and wellbeing at Lancashire County Council, members of UpFront Theatre, and two young people from Central Lancaster High and Cardinal Newman College.

County Councillor John Fillis, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “I’d like to congratulate all the schools who made it through to the final of The Beats and thank the drama students for using their creativity to help other pupils stay safe on the roads.

“I know the judges found it incredibly difficult to pick a winner, and all of us were privileged to see such high quality performances from the finalists.

“Dramatising some of the situations which young drivers face is a good way to help them understand and avoid the risks which can lead to being killed or injured in a crash.”

The schools which reached The Beats Grand Final were:

Unity College, Burnley
Our Lady’s Catholic High School, Preston
Hutton Grammar School, South Ribble
Norden High School and Sports College, Hyndburn
Wennington Hall School, Lancaster
Baines School, Poulton

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