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A pupil from Rowlands Gill Primary School in Tyne and Wear has won the regional heat in the national carbon monoxide (CO) school safety competition.

Jack Nicholson (aged 7) won £150 for himself and £300 for his school, with his eye-catching poster that uses Safety Seymour, a super-hero from outer space who warns children about the dangers of CO, to clearly detail how to identify the ‘silent killer’.

Regional winners will now come together at the national final that will be judged at the Palace of Westminster on Thursday 28 June. The overall national winner will win an additional £300 for themselves and £600 for their school/organisation.

Tom Bell, Head of Social Strategy at Northern Gas Networks, said: “I’m delighted that we had so many great entries for this year’s competition. Jack’s poster is a really eye catching example of what CO is and how we can all prevent becoming a victim of the silent killer. Well done Jack!”

Mrs McCallion, Headteacher at Rowlands Gill Primary School, said: “It’s fantastic to hear that Jack has won the regional heat in the national carbon monoxide school safety competition. We’re really proud of him and the effort he, and all of the pupils that entered, put in to warn people about the dangers of carbon monoxide. We’re keeping everything crossed for next Thursday.”

Jack Nicholson said: “I’m over the moon that my carbon monoxide awareness poster has won the regional competition and I can’t wait to see the sights of London and attend the national final at the Palace of Westminster.”

The annual competition is open to children aged 5 to 11-years-old and there are some great prizes up for grabs for the winning pupil and their school or organisation (such as Cubs or Brownies). Entrants will be open from September, to find out more visit: energynetworks.org or northerngasnetworks.co.uk later in the year.

Tom added: “Engaging children through art is a great way to raise awareness and hopefully educate their families too. It’s a fantastic opportunity for them to have some fun, exercise their creative talents and have a chance of winning some great prizes while relaying an important safety message.”

CO is produced by the incomplete burning of fossil fuels and can be emitted by faulty boilers or gas appliances. Symptoms of CO poisoning include dizziness, nausea and shortness of breath, with around 50 UK deaths recorded every year. For further information about the dangers of carbon monoxide, visit: northerngasnetworks.co.uk/carbon-monoxide.

Anyone that smells gas or suspects carbon monoxide should call the National Gas Emergency Service immediately on 0800 111 999. This line is in operation 24-hours a day, seven days a week.