Firefighters impressed with poster

Station Manager Geoff Thornley, Kayle Brennan and White Watch Manager Martyn Smith
Station Manager Geoff Thornley, Kayle Brennan and White Watch Manager Martyn Smith

AN ELEVEN-year-old boy’s art skills are to highlight the dangers of deliberate wheelie bin fires to the people of Wigan thanks to a partnership between Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) and a community art project.

Kayle Brennan won a competition to design a poster that has been made into a huge banner designed to help reduce antisocial behaviour.

It comes after White Watch firefighters from Wigan Fire Station attended Art2Art, a creative art youth club at Sunshine House Community Centre in the Scholes, Wigan.

Kayle, a Year 7 pupil at Rose Bridge High School in Ince, said: “It was a real surprise to have my poster made into a massive big thing – I’ve been going to Art2Art for a year because I really like art at school and when the firefighters came down it got me thinking.

“I’ve seen a bin fire, with all the plastic melted down and I know some kids think setting fire to bins is cool but it’s really not - because it can be really dangerous.

“I had a few ideas and I normally do cartoon drawing – and I saw something in the newspaper that got me thinking - and I turned it into a poster – but I never thought I’d win!”

A number of young people from the centre came up with posters about the dangers of bin fires. Kayle’s winning design was chosen by Art2Art volunteers and fire crews.

Watch Manager Martyn Smith said: “As a watch we wanted to do some youth engagement and going down to speak to the young people at Art2Art was great because we were able to talk to them about fire safety and some of the problems we can have when people deliberately set fire to wheelie bins. We’re a community fire station so it was great to get involved with young people from Sunshine House Community Centre and use their talent and imagination to let other people know that bin fires just aren’t cool.

“Kayle’s poster was really clever – all of White Watch loved his slogan: ‘Setting fire to bins is wheelie dumb’ – it’s really catchy and will hopefully hit home with his peers, so that we can get on with doing our job – being there to protect people and prevent and respond to fires.”

Community interest company Art2Art – which is funded by the Ince Community First Funding Panel – manage Sunshine House. Kayle’s eye-catching design was make into a banner that will tour Wigan, taking in schools and youth groups and will also be printed for use across the borough.

Station Manager Geoff Thornley said: “It is just fantastic that our crews here in Wigan have such an impact when they engage with young people that they’re then inspired to design posters that help us to do our job at GMFRS.

“Wheelie bin fires can be very dangerous, they not only take up valuable resources but they can spread to fences and homes. What might start out as a prank could actually cause serious injury or worse – so I’d like to thank Kayle for his poster which is just fantastic.”