Creative students have put their skills to the test to support a new campaign which aims to tackle the illegal tobacco trade.
Darlington College art and design students were given a brief to create a series of posters for the campaign to be used in bus shelters at key sites in the town.
Darlington Borough Council’s Trading Standards and Public Health Services, teamed up with Durham Police and the Durham Agency Against Crime (DAAC) to coordinate the campaign, which was launched this week (10 March).
The campaign aims to raise awareness of the problems caused by the sale of illegal tobacco and cigarettes, particularly to under-age children, and encourages the public to report any issues to Trading Standards.
A panel of judges – including Councillor Jonathan Dulston, Sarah Norman and Siobhan Jones, of Durham Police, Ian Williams, the council’s director of economic growth and Dawn Taylor, trading standards manager – faced the difficult task of choosing the winning designs from more than 22 entries submitted by 14 second year students.
The winner was Chloe Duncombe-Shafto, 17, of Middleton St George; with Kyle Hoggins, 18, of Darlington second and joint third were Megan Earl, 18, of Winston and Oliver Morrissey, 17, of Darlington.
The runners-up were Kayleigh Atkinson, 17, of Richmond, Josh Cave, 17, of Darlington and Abby Wright, 18, of Staindrop.
Cllr Dulston, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for stronger communities, said:
“The standard of work produced by the students was fantastic, which made our task of choosing the winning designs very difficult.
“The eye-catching posters can now be seen at bus shelters around the town centre and we’re hoping the public will see them and be more aware of the problems that sales of illegal tobacco can cause, report any incidents and help us prevent the sale and supply of illegal tobacco in Darlington.”
Sarah Norman, drug intervention coordinator/controlled drug liaison officer at Durham Police’s Harm Reduction Unit, said:
“The students from Darlington College have assisted us with previous projects and again the work has been to a remarkable standard, we were all really impressed.
“Peer-led education is an effective tool and this project shows the level of quality that can be achieved. We work closely with Trading Standards and other partners to keep our communities safe, and that includes stopping the illegal tobacco trade which can often be linked to serious and organised crime.
“The students’ efforts will help us to reduce the harm caused to our communities by illegal tobacco, thank you again for all your hard work.”
Pippa Eeles, senior lecturer at Darlington College, said:
“We were thrilled that the students were invited to work on this campaign, as it gave them invaluable experience of a genuine, live brief with real clients and deadlines, just as they would face in the world of work.”
Winner Chloe added:
“I appreciate the opportunity to produce an advertisement for such an important campaign and to see my work in the public domain.”
The new campaign has been launched just days before National No Smoking Day – on Wednesday 11 March – and encourages members of the public to pass on any information about illegal tobacco sales in Darlington to Trading Standards anonymously using the online ‘Report It’ form at: www.darlington.gov.uk/ts-report-it
All submissions are anonymous (you can leave contact details if you would like to be updated) and you do not need to register to submit the form. You can also visit the Keep it Out website – www.keep-it-out.co.uk – or ring the illegal tobacco hotline 0300 9990000.
For more information about the work of Trading Standards, part of Darlington Borough Council’s Community Safety Team, visit: www.darlington.gov.uk/communitysafety
Photo caption: L-R in bus shelter – Dawn Taylor (DBC Trading Standards), Becky James (DBC Public Health Services), Cllr Jonathan Dulston (Cabinet member for Stronger Communities), Sarah Norman and Siobham Jones (Durham Police) and student Chloe Duncombe-Shafto whose winning design can be seen in bus shelter, with other art + design students from Darlington College.