Barking pupils give a ‘thumbs up’ to new road safety video | Wates

A new road safety video is being shown in Barking schools as part of a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of crossing the road near heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and the importance of not playing near building sites.

Created by Wates Residential, which is part of leading privately-owned construction, property services and development company, the Wates Group, the ‘Thumbs Up for Safety’ video centres around a young actor called Alfie, aged 9, who is playing with a football with his real-life sister, Emily. Alfie works out that by giving a ‘thumbs up’ to the driver of a reversing HGV, and by getting a ‘thumbs up’ in return, he can safely cross the road to collect his ball.

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The film highlights that HGV drivers have blind spots and can’t always see what is happening around them, especially when reversing and that it’s important to always be seen when you are on the road.

First shown at Gascoigne Primary School, the safety video was filmed specifically around Abbey Road, The Shaftsburys and Boundary Road, where Wates Residential is working with Be First to deliver over 500 homes across the Gascoigne Estate.

Produced by Mediorite, a social enterprise that works with young people, and sponsored by Proplant Scaffolding, the video was filmed outside, adhering to coronavirus restrictions, and all the actors involved are family members of people working for Wates Residential or their suppliers on site, like Alfie whose father works for MadiganGill.

Adrian Fennessy, Operations Director for Wates Residential states:

Building over 500 homes at Gascoigne West in Barking means lots of HGV deliveries. Normally we would educate school children by hosting an event for them to learn more about the vehicles but with coronavirus restrictions we had to think of a better way. With several schools nearby, our ‘Thumbs Up for Safety’ video is an ideal way to show how important it is to always be seen when you are on the road.

We care about the communities in which we operate, and nothing is more important than safety, for the people that are working on site and those in the surrounding areas. Furthermore, by producing the video with a social enterprise we have been able to create over 100 hours of paid work and work experience for young people in East London.”

 Atlanta Connelly, teacher at Gascoigne Primary School, said:

What an amazing opportunity for the children to get involved and see exactly what Wates is all about. The children were all so excited when they saw the video being produced outside of the school, as many of them live locally. It showed the importance of safety in many aspects, such as looking when crossing the roads, having awareness for lorries and trucks, as well as never entering a construction site. Thank you for the experience the children were taught so many new things. We hope to see you again in the near future.”

 Pupils from Gascoigne primary school commented:

I thought the video was great, it taught me to be really careful near big lorries. And to make sure that the driver can see me before I cross the road.

The video had a clear message, about making sure we stay safe and we don’t run out in front of lorry. And Wates provided a talk about not playing near or on construction sites.

In the video the boy’s ball got burst under the lorry tyres, and balls can be replaced but I can’t. This video has made me think about making sure I am safe when crossing to road and look out for big vehicles.”

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