A Birmingham-based charity that is dedicated to improving the safety of children on the roads is seeking £5,000 in crowdfunding to help produce an animated video series for primary schools.
DriveSafe & StaySafe introduced The Conies as a family of traffic cones that deliver road and personal safety messages through their comic adventures at a road safety song contest in Solihull last autumn.
Interactive games, teaching packs and merchandise featuring the characters are already being developed with the help of pupils and staff from a number of schools across the West Midlands, with Solihull Junior School and St Alphege School in Solihull having been especially proactive.
The Yardley-based charity is now seeking £5,000 of investment from the public to hopefully turn The Conies into a household-name video series which, it says, will enable children to raise their awareness of the dangers of ever-increasing traffic, help recognise road signs, and learn respect for all road users.
The AXA motor insurance company has agreed to match-fund the total crowdfunding figure to enable DriveSafe to work with a production budget of at least £10,000, sufficient for a first episode of The Conies – but the charity is hopeful even more can be raised so that more stories can be produced.
Fay Goodman, Founder and Managing Director of DriveSafe & StaySafe, said: “The funding will enable us to improve the safety of children by engaging them in a fun-filled cone-shaped world where adorable characters get involved in adventures and road signs come to life.”
She explained: “Children no longer have icons from the past such as Tufty the Squirrel and the Green Cross Code Man to help educate them in road safety. The Conies are ready and waiting to fill that gap.”
Fay added: “We are inviting pupils, teachers and parents from schools wherever based to join DriveSafe and help our exciting initiative grow quickly.”
DriveSafe launched The Conies as a result of Fay’s concern at figures released in 2014 showing that child road accidents were on the up – reversing years of decline – with almost 70% occurring within 500 metres of schools.
She said crowdfunding was chosen over more traditional funding to enable DriveSafe and StaySafe to widen its support, rather than rely on a single investor, and to boost awareness of the charity and its work.