FireworksTyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service’s campaign to educate young people about the dangers of misusing fireworks has been recognised with a prestigious Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) award.

Jack’s Story was named top North East Public Sector campaign by a panel of judges at the regional CIPR Pride Awards at the end of 2015.

Councillor Nick Kemp, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and regulatory services for Newcastle City Council, said: “Jack’s Story is an excellent short film that brilliantly captures the dangers of playing with fire. This accolade is well deserved which is great credit to Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and Newcastle Youth Offending Team.”

Based on true events, Jack’s Story comprised a short film showing how a 10-year-old boy started a fire as a prank and almost killed someone. The video depicted how his thoughtless actions affected his mum and sister as well as his own life long after he lit the fire.

Backed by publicity, social media and talks in Tyne and Wear schools, the campaign focused on educating young people aged between 11 and 14 years about the very real dangers of playing with fireworks in the lead up to Bonfire Night. It was developed to:
• Reduce the number of injuries caused by fireworks and bonfires
• Reduce the impact of the Bonfire period on Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service
• Raise awareness of the dangers and consequences of the misuse and abuse of bonfires and fireworks
• Encourage people to attend organised displays.

The film was one part of a far bigger Darker Nights campaign, created to help ensure safe communities especially on and around the bonfire night period.

Assistant Chief Officer Joy Brindle said: "We’re delighted that the creativity and impact of our public safety campaign has been recognised with this accolade.

"Each year, the bonfire period is one of the busiest times for the Service and we work extremely hard to get the message out to young people in particular that they put themselves and others at real risk if they misuse fireworks and bonfires. Being based on real events really helps to bring the message home, and highlights the true danger of playing with fireworks and illegal fires."