Cardiff pupil wins national competition with eye-catching design

Posted on: 20/11/2020

Wales & West Utilities Performance Manager Richie Jones with competition winner, Shaun Xavier 

Cardiff’s Shaun Xavier has beat off stiff competition after his eye-catching poster design caught judges’ eyes and saw him crowned national winner in a gas safety creative competition.

Shaun, who until recently attended St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Primary School, won the Key Stage 2 Wales heat of the ‘Get Creative, Be Safe’ gas safety competition. Clearly impressing judges with his design, Shaun’s entry was then put forward to the national element of the competition, where it was judged against hundreds of other entries before he was crowned the overall UK winner.

The ‘Get Creative, Be Safe’ competition is run nationally by industry body, Energy Networks Association, and is supported locally by gas emergency and pipeline service Wales & West Utilities. Each year it invites school-age children to produce something creative to warn of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

Shaun designed an eye-catching poster which warns of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and the signs to look out for. By winning both the regional and national elements to the competition, Shaun has won £450, as well as a prize to be enjoyed by the family valued at £150, whilst his school has won £900.

This year saw more than 650 entries across Wales & West Utilities operating area.

I really enjoyed taking part in the challenge. We learn about gas safety in school and this was a great way to put down in design all that we’ve learnt.

I didn’t expect to win so to be named both regional and national competition winner is fantastic!

Shaun Xavier, Get Creative, Be Safe Winner

Shaun’s entry captured the attention of all judges and he has done a fantastic job in bringing to life a very serious issue.

The competition was a huge success this year and we hope that everyone taking part has been able to help spread the vital gas safety messages to their friends and loved ones.

Clive Book, Wales & West Utilities Head of Emergency Service

The competition was a fantastic exercise for us all – not only did the pupils enjoy taking part and putting their creative skills to use but they all learnt a lot about the serious dangers carbon monoxide presents and the steps to take to eliminate them.

Shaun’s poster entry was fantastic, and we are all very proud of him.

Mrs Alexandra Riordan, Headteacher at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Primary School

Known as the silent killer because you can’t see it, smell it or taste it, accidental – and therefore preventable - CO poisoning is responsible for around 40 deaths, 200 hospitalisations each year. In the UK, there are more than 4,000 visits to Accident and & Emergency for treatment of CO poisoning – which can often lead to lasting neurological damage.

Symptoms of CO poisoning are often confused with flu, especially in winter, as they include severe headaches, a sore throat, dizziness, coughing, feeling sick, and a general lack of energy.

If you suspect you have been exposed to carbon monoxide, you should open all windows to ventilate, evacuate the property and call 0800 111 999, the national gas emergency number.