School children around Dorset will be safer on the streets after 5,000 high-visibility vests have been donated to youngsters across the region.
Christchurch police officers joined forces with Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Service to run a safety campaign, together with local businessman and family man Mike Trimby, the Bournemouth Echo reported.
As part of the initiative, they have received £5,000 in cash donations and jackets, including from AFC Bournemouth, which contributed 1,000 vests to the campaign.
Last Saturday (February 3rd), the Christchurch fire station opened its doors from 11:00 to 14:00 to offer the free jackets to those aged between four and six, and between 350 and 400 vests were handed out.
Speaking with the news provider, Mr Trimby said: “I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved.”
The initiative was set up to encourage school children to wear high-visibility clothing to and from school so motorists can see them more clearly. It follows the death of five-year-old Shane Bartlett as he walked home from school.
“We would like it to become part of school culture and give kids a high-vis vest as an item of their welcome pack when they arrive at school. If we can roll it out to the new children starting in September, then we are on to a winner,” he stated.
The non-profit campaign has gained interest from many groups and businesses around Dorset so far, including Rotary UK, which has 100,000 members in total.
Honiton Scout Group is also encouraging children to be safe on the roads with high-visibility attire after Midweek Herald revealed a local Specsavers store donated 100 vests to the group recently.