South West Wales

Maesteg pupils drink and drug films shown in hospitals

A series of short animated films made by schoolchildren about drink and drug abuse are being screened at four hospitals in south Wales.

Pupils at Maesteg Comprehensive School wrote, made and voiced the clips.

They are about concerns they have about issues in their community and real life events they have seen or heard about.

Throughout February the films are being shown at A&E, canteens and outpatient departments at hospitals in Swansea, Port Talbot and Bridgend.

The project has been funded by the South Wales Police Youth Trust and run by the local crime prevention association and neighbourhood policing team.

Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Bella Rees said 13 youngsters aged 12 and 13 were involved.

"They were asked to choose a topic and chose substance misuse as being a problem in the community," she said.

Professional animators helped them put the four films together but Miss Rees said the schoolchildren came up with the ideas and did most of the hands-on work.

"The adults took a step back and they did everything from writing story boards to making the characters that appear on screen to doing the voice overs," she added.

"There was minimal adult input into it."

Community messages

When they were making the films it was intended they were only going to be shown to fellow pupils.

But PCSO Rees said when managers at the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Local Health Board heard about the project they agreed to screen them.

A spokeswoman for the health board said: "We've got information screens in our four main acute hospitals - Princess of Wales in Bridgend, Neath Port Talbot, Singleton and Morriston.

"They are in areas where people sit down such as A&E, canteens, outpatients.

"We try to include community messages on them as well, particularly those that have key public health messages, and we were delighted to be able to showcase the excellent animation created by these youngsters."

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