Issued on: Monday 3 December

This year’s Celebrate Safely poetry competition winners were crowned at a special awards ceremony at Central Fire Station on Saturday 1 December.

The three winners were confirmed as: Year 2 winners – James Wise from Broomfield Primary in East Goscote and Sagnik Mandal from King Richard III Primary School in Leicester City and Year 6 winner – Amelia Drummond-Harris from Fleckney Church of England Primary School.

The youngsters, who created poems on how to celebrate safely over the festive period as part of the Celebrate Safely campaign, received their awards at a special event which included a fire and rescue demonstration and the opportunity for children to look around emergency service vehicles.

A panel of judges including Sanjay Bulsara (Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service), Jo Hewitt (Leicestershire County Council) James Hickford (Leicester City Council) Tony Mannion (Leicestershire Police) had the difficult task of picking which entries sparkled the most amongst fierce competition.

Sanjay Bulsara, Station Manager at Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We are delighted at the level of entries and how the children have embraced the Celebrate Safely messages as part of their poems. Congratulations to our winners, it was a hard competition to judge, as all entries were worthy winners.

“By doing the competition it is a great way to get children to think about staying safe during the festive period, and we hope they will share these messages with their friends and family helping to keep them safe.”

Ivan Ould, cabinet member for community safety at Leicestershire County Council, added: “It is great to see one of the county’s school win this year’s celebrate safely prize. The poems all showed a good understanding of the topic of fireworks and fire safety and were so good it was decided to expand the competition to a winner and two runners up this year!

“Congratulations to the winner James and runners up Riley and Benjamin all in Year 2 as well as Amelia, who is in Year 6. We hope their success motivates more schools to take part next year and share the very important message of celebrating safely across the festive period.”

The Celebrate Safely campaign involves Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, Leicestershire Police, Leicestershire County Council, Leicester City Council and a number of district and borough councils across the county.

The campaign, which runs from the beginning of September to the New Year, aims to advise communities on staying safe through upcoming celebrations.

To find out more about the Celebrate Safely campaign, visit


Notes to Editors:
Interviews can be arranged through prior arrangement with Corporate Communications on the details below.

A selection of images from the competition’s prize giving ceremony are available on request from the Corporate Communications team, but a photo of the winners can be found below: 

Picture of the winners

Full list of winners and runners up:

Broomfield Primary School:
1st – James Wise
2nd – Riley Payne
3rd – Benjamin Strong

King Richard III:
1st – Sagnik Mandal
2nd – Maisy Cowan
3rd – Vivien Hmilanska

Fleckney C of E primary School:
1st – Amelia Drummond-Harris

About the Service
Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service provides emergency response, prevention and protection services from 20 stations across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. Its headquarters is based in Birstall, Leicester.

The Service’s prevention, education, enforcement and inspection programmes have resulted in significant reductions in the number of incidents. In the last ten years, fire-related incidents have reduced by 43 percent. 

During 2016/17, the Service attended 694 road traffic collisions, of which 148 were extrications from vehicles, in addition to ­2,259 fires. 272 schools were visited as part of the Service’s schools programme, delivering fire and road safety education to pupils. Staff organised or took part in 1,613 community safety events, promoting fire and road safety and arson prevention, and 145 Virtual Fatal Four (VF4) events as part of the Service’s young drivers’ road safety project. 

Corporate Communications
Direct: 0116 229 2178

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