Bernard the road safety bard

09.16 | 24 June 2011 | | 1 comment

A guitar playing poet is offering a novel approach to help RSOs deliver road safety messages to schools.

For the past 11 years Bernard Young has visited school across North Yorkshire, delivering road safety messages with a twist. Over the years thousands of children have learnt from Bernard, and written their own poems on issues including crossing roads, riding bikes and being friendly to School Crossing Patrols.

The day usually begins with a performance from Bernard to the whole school, followed by a talk from the RSO. Bernard then gives the children ideas for writing their own road safety poems and leads workshops throughout the day. The day finishes with the pupils performing their own poems to the rest of the school and an invited audience of family and friends.

Andrew Santon, RSO with North Yorkshire, said: “I have worked with Bernard for many years, running road safety poetry workshops in the schools I cover, and we have never had a disappointing day.

“It’s wonderful to see children who don’t think they can write poetry realise that they can, and produce some wonderful and moving results. The days have proved very popular with children and staff and the ripple effect of the road safety messages reaches the wider school community.

“All in all I consider these days to be a very effective way of delivering road safety education.”

For more information contact Bernard Young on 01377  217164 / 07711 936189.

Click here to download some of Bernard’s poems in PDF format.


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    Bernard worked for us in Hull over a period of more than 10 years and I can echo Andrew Santon’s comments. He is able to tailor his input specifically to local casualty issues identifed from the data and almost always generates extension projects in the schools he works with. For us it was always money well spent.

    Mark Jessop, East Yorkshire
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