Ribbleton Primary School Pupil Dreams Up Furry Friend For Forrest

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Not every child gets to see their imagination come to life, but for one lucky pupil at Grange Primary School in Ribbleton their idea became a reality after winning a competition to create a construction health and safety mascot for Forrest, the social housing regeneration specialist.

The winning design by 10-year-old Cerys Bamber, who lives in Preston, of a red squirrel wearing a hi-visibility jacket and hard hat called Forrest Friend, was made into a full-sized mascot and came to visit the school at a special ceremony in December.

As well as being able to see her character come alive, for her outstanding efforts Cerys was awarded £100 Toys R Us vouchers.

Forrest Friend will now become Forrest’s official health and safety mascot and used on promotional material.

Karen Vickers, customer communications officer, Forrest, said: “At Forrest we’re committed to creating a positive impact on the community, and that means engaging with everyone from tenants and home owners to local school children.

“This competition offered an exciting opportunity to test youngsters’ artistic skills and invite them to contribute to our business in a meaningful way. It was hard choosing a winner, but Cerys’ Forrest Friend stood out for being fun, vibrant, and getting the health and safety message across in a responsible way.”

Cheryl Nelson, the school’s headteacher, said: “This is lovely for the children – a wonderful surprise!”

The competition to design a mascot was one of a range of activities Forrest hosted for its inaugural Customer Care Week, in which the contractor hosted a number of programmes to support the communities it serves.

Other events taking place throughout the week included a help the elderly day and green goody bag giveaway. There was also a competition for a worthy cause to win £5,000, which was awarded to Salix Homes for a subway mural art project for young people.