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The North of England’s gas distributor, Northern Gas Networks (NGN), is calling on schools across the North East, northern Cumbria and Yorkshire to enter a creative competition to help raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

Launched during CO Awareness Week (16 – 23 November), the regional heats are the first stage of a national competition in partnership with registered charity CO-Gas Safety and the UK’s gas distribution networks, to get children thinking about the causes and symptoms of CO poisoning.

The competition which is now in its ninth year, is open to children aged five to seven and eight to 11 years old and they can work as individuals or as a groups.

NGN is inviting children to submit their competition entries in any media, whether it be through music and dance, a sculpture or poster, a poem or a story. The most creative entry in each age category that best highlights the dangers of CO poisoning will go forward to represent the North as regional finalists in the grand finals later next year.

CO is often referred to as the silent killer as it has no smell, colour or taste, making it difficult to detect. This results in around 50 deaths in the UK each year, as well as many hundreds of people needing medical treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning.

Winners of the regional heats in the North will win a prize of £200 for themselves and £300 for their school with the winning artwork being displayed on NGN’s worksites and company website.

Tom Bell, head of social strategy at NGN, said: “At NGN we take the safety of customers very seriously so it is a pleasure to be involved in spreading such a vitally important message about the danger of CO. The Toxic gas can be a deadly, so engaging school children through art is a great way to raise awareness and hopefully educate whole families too.”

All entries must be submitted electronically by emailing COintheframe@northerngas.co.uk by end of February 2016. Physical artwork and performances will need to be videoed or photographed.

NGN delivers gas to 2.7 million homes and businesses across the North of England and provides the region’s rapid response service for customers who smell gas at home or work.

For more information go to www.northerngasnetworks.co.uk