Students help spread life-saving message

Release Date: 18-Sep-2012
A new safety initiative aimed at increasing young people’s awareness of the danger of carbon monoxide (CO) was launched last week.
Barry Sheerman MP, Cllr Mehboob Khan & Stacey Rodgers (centre) with the students who made the film

Barry Sheerman MP, Cllr Mehboob Khan & Stacey Rodgers (centre) with the students who made the film

The campaign is in the form of a film, which has been developed by students at the Creative and Media School in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

Done as a series of different scenarios including camping and student housing, “The Silent Killer” aims to make young people aware of the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide and how they can protect themselves. It also includes a number of victims’ stories to drive home the seriousness of the deadly gas.

The film was commissioned by the Dominic Rodgers Trust and the Kirklees Carbon Monoxide Awareness Group (KCOAG), led by Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing, and which has carried out a number of successful gas safety campaigns over the past six years.

Safety campaigner Stacey Rodgers, knows all too well how deadly carbon monoxide can be, having lost her son Dominic to CO poisoning when he was only 10. She explained why they chose this approach: “Dom would have turned 19 this year and would no doubt have been about to start living independently, going on holiday with friends, visiting festivals and so on.

“With that in mind, we wanted to do a campaign that would get young people like him to take notice of the dangers of carbon monoxide and we knew that the best way to do that would be to get other young people to help develop the campaign.

“So we approached the Creative and Media School and asked the students to come up with a drama that would capture the attention of other young people on the brink of independence, alert them to the dangers of carbon monoxide and tell them how they can help keep themselves safe.

“The students have written, produced, starred in and edited the film as part of their studies, and the end result is brilliant. We’re so grateful to them and to the staff at the school for getting so involved in the project and making it happen.”

Isobel Crossley is a Year 11 student the school, and helped develop the film script, as well as acted in it. She said: “this experience gave me the first taste of a professional working environment and I was proud to be a part of something so useful and informative.”

Sarah Huntington, Director of the Studio School, agreed, saying, “This project has produced a professional standard product for a worthwhile cause and the collaboration between the Dominic Rodgers Trust, KCOAG and the Studio School has been fantastic.”

Speakers at the launch included Barry Sheerman, MP for Huddersfield and Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Gas Safety Group (APPGSG), Cllr Mehboob Khan, Leader of Kirklees Council and some of those involved in making the film.

“The Silent Killer” will be made available via YouTube and will also be available as a teaching resource for schools and colleges around the country.

The campaign is supported by KCOAG, a multi-agency partnership made up of the Dominic Rodgers Trust, Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing, Kirklees Council, Northern Gas Networks, Enterprise plc, Carillion and Mears. It has been sponsored by the Gas Industry Safety Group, FireAngel and Scotia Gas.

KCOAG formed in 2006 to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide and to encourage people to have their appliances regularly serviced. It was the first group of its kind in the country to be doing this kind of work and has received three national awards for its gas safety initiatives.