Colors: Blue Color

Nearly 200 free breakfasts were served by volunteers at two local libraries in the first week of Sandwell’s Cereal Readers project.

The breakfast clubs are running at Glebefields Library and Smethwick Library for six weeks over the school summer holidays.

They run every weekday from 10-11.30am and are open to all children aged four to 11.

In the first week, 117 children together with 64 adults attended the Cereal Readers sessions, which offer cereal, fruit and juice as well as stories, activities and guided reading.

Councillor Richard Marshall, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for leisure, said: “We know that times are really difficult financially for many families and school holiday time increases that burden.

"With Cereal Readers, families can have a healthy breakfast at the same time as enjoying reading and fun activities. This also ties in with the very popular Summer Reading Challenge, which helps to avoid children having a 'dip' in reading over the summer.

"It's fantastic that volunteers have served nearly 200 breakfasts in the first week – what a great start! I encourage other families to come along to Glebefields Library and Smethwick Library so their children can become Cereal Readers too.

"While visiting the library, they can also join the hundreds of other children who have already signed up to the Summer Reading Challenge."

The Cereal Readers project is funded entirely through donations from businesses and run by volunteers. To volunteer or donate to this project please call Glebefields Library on 0121 557 8641 or Smethwick Library on 0121 558 0497.

Glittering lights, exquisite jewels and cheery live spectaculars are all part of the festive celebrations in Norwich this year, which will feature: more Christmas lights than ever before, stunning Fabergé sculptures, a 4-day Christmas Fair to launch the season's shopping frenzy, and great family shows featuring live music keeping the atmosphere authentic.

In 2016 thousands flocked to Norwich to experience the UK's first Tunnel of Light when it was unveiled in the heart of the city centre. The 45-meters long, 4 meters high and 6 meters wide tunnel, made from 50,000 pulsating LEDs with sequenced lights that reflected the patterns and colours of the Northern Lights, proved an instant Instagram sensation.

All ages marvelled at the tunnel, which became even more magical as day turned into dusk and dusk turned into night. But how do you improve on perfection? Well, you crown it, and so in 2017 the Tunnel of Light will be back once again, but this year with a new animation sequence and a glittering tiara.

At the world-class Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts a sumptuous exhibition awaits: Royal Fabergé. The world famous jeweller has an amazing local story to tell. See over 70 loans from the Royal Collection – King Edward VII's commissions from the Sandringham Estate - as well as vintage films and photographs; there'll be over 150 loans from private and public collectors across Britain, Russia and America.

Volunteers, staff, service users and customers past and present came together to celebrate 20 years of the Green Pepper Cafe, which has broken down barriers and helped hundreds of people to learn essential life skills.

Service users with their certificates in food handlingGreen Pepper Cafe, at Winkfield Resource Centre, Wood Green, was launched by Haringey Council in 1997 as a training project to offer people with learning disabilities the opportunity to gain catering experience, build their confidence and learn new skills to help them get paid or voluntary work.

During the past 20 years, hundreds of people have benefited from support and training at Green Pepper and thousands of hungry diners have enjoyed delicious home cooked meals.

The birthday party last month saw guests come together for a presentation to six of the users who each gained a certificate in food handling. Plenty of food was dished out including lamb cutlets, jerk chicken and Jamaican rice and peas. A special green pepper Café cake was made for the occasion.

Green Pepper first opened in Philip Lane, Tottenham and enjoyed a period at Wolves Lane Garden Centre before moving to the Winkfield in 2015. Team Leader Jenny Smith, who has been at the helm since day one, said: “It was good to see the clients and their parents who have supported us over the years. I’m very proud that some of them have been able to gain voluntary work with the skills they have developed at the café.”

Cllr Bernice Vanier, Haringey Council Cabinet Member for Adults, said:

It’s an honour to be able to celebrate this milestone in the Green Pepper Cafe’s history. For 20 years, the cafe has offered a vital service to local people with learning disabilities, equipping them with practical skills to help them live more independent lives, and building up a loyal customer base in the process. I want to pay thanks to the dedication and commitment of staff, volunteers and customers, whose efforts have made a real difference in the local community.”

Wolverhampton Art Gallery bosses are urging Midlands wildlife lovers to make the most of an international photography show - on their own doorstep.

The Natural History Museum’s 52nd World Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition opened at the Lichfield Street gallery in July – and runs until October 1.

Within weeks, hundreds of visitors have already made the most of the show and enjoyed the chance to see stunning wildlife photography.

It is the second year Wolverhampton Art Gallery has hosted the show, which last year won the thumbs up from visitors.

“A much nicer space than London. Beautifully curated. I like the atmosphere soundtrack.”

Sandwell’s Big Sleuth bears are making a splash – and if you visit all six of them, you can win a free swim!
Everyone who visits all of Sandwell’s bears in Bearwood and West Bromwich can claim a free swimming session at any Sandwell Leisure Trust swimming centre.
The 10-week project supporting Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity has brought more than 100 bear sculptures to Birmingham, Solihull, Sutton Coldfield, Resorts World and Sandwell. A sleuth is the collective noun for a group of bears.
Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for leisure Councillor Richard Marshall said: “The more people who visit The Big Sleuth bears, the more awareness we raise for the fantastic work of Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, where around 1,000 Sandwell children are treated each month.
“We want people to have great fun meeting all of the bears in Sandwell, Birmingham and beyond so this is a great incentive to come and see our six bears in Sandwell.”
To claim your free swim, simply present your digital voucher which is generated in The Big Sleuth app when you visit the six Sandwell bears. Find the app by searching ‘The Big Sleuth 2017’ in the App Store or Google Play.
Mark Wildman, Business and Commercial Manager for Sandwell Leisure Trust said: “We are delighted to help support this great initiative, simply take your digital voucher to reception at any one of our swimming centres to get your ‘paws’ on your free swim but please ‘bear’ with us as we are often get busy in the summer holidays!”
The offer is in addition to free swimming for all Sandwell children aged 16 and under who swim for free during the school holidays, and Sandwell residents aged 60 who can swim for free any day before 1pm.
The Big Sleuth, which is being run in conjunction with Wild in Art, is on until Sunday 17 September 2017
Sandwell’s bears can be found:
Bearwood
• Lightwoods park near the skate park (BearTrix Blocker, commercial sponsor - Skate Hut)
• Bearwood bus station, Bearwood Road - (Bussy Bear - commercial sponsor - National Express)
• Warley Woods near the fountain and play area (Bentley the Bearwood Bear designed by Positive Activities Innovative Development and Rebecca Cresswell)
West Bromwich
• High Street near the Farley Fountain (Bearolution – designed by West Bromwich Youth Council and Creative Arts)
• Outside Central Sixth, Sandwell College (Picnic Time For Teddy Bears - commercial sponsor - West Brom Building Society)
• Sandwell Park Farm (Uncle B – designed by looked after children and Cradley Heath Creative)

Local businesses can help to make the UK more autism-friendly by taking part in the UK’s first Autism Hour.

The inaugural event, organised by The National Autistic Society, will see shops and services across the UK dim their lights, turn down music and share information about autism for 60 minutes on the week of 2 October.

Mark Lever, Chief Executive at the National Autistic Society, said:

“Like anyone, autistic people and their families want the opportunity to go to the shops and services on the high street. But our research suggests that many find the often busy, loud and unpredictable environment of public places overwhelming and avoid them altogether. We hope that the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour will provide a break for families in the week and in the long term will help spread understanding so that shops and services are more accessible every day of the year.

“A basic understanding of autism could transform the lives of autistic people and their families and avoid them becoming isolated or trapped in their homes. I hope businesses in PLACE will take part and help to make the local area more autism-friendly.”

The National Autistic Society’s survey suggests that 64% of autistic people avoid going to the shops, and 28% have been asked to leave a public place for reasons associated with their autism. The charity is asking shops and services to take simple steps for one hour to help create a more autism friendly world - from dimming the lights and turning down music to sharing information about autism with employees.

More than 1 in 100 people are on the autism spectrum which means that someone sees, hears and feels the world in a different, often more intense way to other people. Autistic people often find social situations difficult and struggle to filter out the sounds, smells, sights and information they experience which means they feel overwhelmed by ‘too much information’ when out in public.

The National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour is supported by shopping centre owner intu and will take place in 14 of their shopping centres across the UK including intu Trafford centre, intu Lakeside and intu Metrocentre. Staff at intu centres already receive training to provide autism-aware customer service and autistic people also benefit from guides that allow them to plan and prepare a visit to each intu centre.

Clarks and Toys ‘R’ Us are also amongst shops and services that have already signed up, after previously hosting quiet hours in individual stores. Lloyds Banking Group is also supporting by educating colleagues and customers about autism during Autism Hour. The charity is calling on others to follow their lead and open up their businesses to autistic people.

Following a warning by the children’s commissioner that parents should stop their kids binging on the internet and staring at smartphones and tablets this summer, parents are being urged to balance screen time with green time or risk damaging their children’s health and development.

The commissioner is urging parents to regulate children’s screen time in the same way they regulate diets. However, according to research* by outdoor holiday experts Camping in the Forest, more than a third (37%) of parents say their children are far too wrapped up in technology and less than one in ten (7%) reveal their children regularly play outside. Only 13% parents admit they actually encourage their kids to get outdoors.

Experts exposed that two in five parents use their phones and tablets to keep their children entertained while travelling and 25% allow screen time before bed. 13% reveal they even allow their children to play with gadgets at meal times. 1

The survey also revealed that more than half of children under 10 (54%) admit their favourite activity is playing on a smartphone or tablet and watching TV. Children aged five to 16 spend an average of six and a half hours a day in front of a screen compared with around three hours in 1995, according to researchers.

Detrimental health effects of too much exposure to screens for children include sleep deprivation, obesity, lack of imagination, vision problems, aches and pains, loss of social skills and aggression.

Getting fresh air has actual measurable physical health benefits for children. Kids who are outside are more likely to get their daily dosage of vitamin D, which assists in bone strength and lowers risks of serious illness. Time outside has also proven to soothe children, lowering their risk of hyperactivity and depression. 3

Camping in the Forest’s survey also revealed that less than a quarter (24%) of today’s children know how to play conkers while a staggering 70% have no idea how to play traditional outdoor game Tig.

Leading psychotherapist Hilda Burke comments: “From a very early age children emulate their parents, so it comes as no surprise that very high digital usage in adults is also now being reflected in children. If parents adopt clear boundaries for digital devices around their kids, e.g. phones are switched off during play time and meal times, they will learn valuable lessons about how there is a time and a place to use these devices and that it's up to us to regulate our usage.

“Spending less time on their digital devices indoors and more time playing outdoors can help foster a greater sense of curiosity and imagination in children, qualities that are crucial for healthy development.”

Sites director Bob Hill from Camping in the Forest says: “It’s clear from our research that today’s children are spending far too much time glued to screens rather than enjoying time in the great outdoors which is hugely beneficial for health and well-being.

“With the summer holidays in full swing we are urging parents to curb their kids’ screen time and ensure they enjoy more green time in a bid to re-ignite their imagination, encourage physical exercise and stimulate creativity. Green time is free, on your doorstep and is the most fun kids can have!”

The month of September will be celebrated annually as National Americana Month, with Franklin, Tennessee, leading the way. The registrar of National Day Calendar selected Visit Franklin's proposal to declare September as National Americana Month out of over 30,000 submissions for national recognition in 2016. Communities across the nation are encouraged to join Franklin in celebrating all things Americana.

“With an incredible music scene, a Great American Main Street, and a community filled with amazing talent and character, Franklin, Tennessee perfectly embodies the spirit of Americana," said Ellie Westman Chin, Visit Franklin President & CEO. "It is often hard to put into a single word what makes Franklin and communities like it around the country such beloved places, but Americana is that word. When you think of Americana, you are taken back to simpler time."

Americana does not have a single definition. It means different things to different people. To many it is a sound, to some, it is a story while to others Americana describes the feeling or vibe you experience that takes you back to the roots of your culture. In its inaugural year, Franklin will build a pilot branding campaign model to celebrate all things that are quintessentially Americana which communities across the country can tailor to their unique local culture in the future.

Westman Chin added, "We look forward to celebrating an entire month of events that showcase why Franklin is indeed rooted in Americana, and being a leader in showcasing how other communities can highlight their unique Americana offerings."

Pupils from Lordship Lane Primary School have taken the lead in warning dog owners to clean up their pets’ mess.

Lordship Lane pupils with Cllr Ahmet and Cllr WatersA new series of “scoop up the Poop” posters designed by pupils highlight the risk of an £80 fine for allowing pooches to foul the pavement.

A poster-design competition was launched after community-spirited six-year-old pupil Eloise Charnock wrote to Haringey Council to complain after she spotted dog mess on her walk home from school.

Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Peray Ahmet and Woodside ward Cllr Ann Waters visited the school to launch the competition and choose the three winning designs, which are being displayed around the borough.

Winning designer Junaid Junel, 11, said: “I’ve seen the posters outside and I feel like I’ve achieved something.”

Paul Bullen, 10, and his sister Louise, 6, produced the two other winning designs. Paul said: “I’m so very excited. There were so many good posters and I was very surprised I won.”

Cllr Peray Ahmet said:

It’s really encouraging to see children take an active interest in their environment. Well done to Eloise for speaking up against dog mess, and to Paul, Louise and Junaid for their winning designs. They’ve created some great posters that will encourage people to clean up their mess – they should be extremely proud of what they’ve achieved.”

All three winners received a framed picture of their poster, a waterproof lamppost version and a gift voucher.

Sandwell Council is asking people for their views on a proposed 20mph zone in Friar Park ward.

The 20mph zone would include traffic calming measures in Manor Road and Carrington Road, in the Friar Park ward.

Figures show there were four accidents involving casualties in Manor Road and two in Carrington Road since 2012.

Councillor Dave Hosell, Sandwell Council's cabinet for highways and environment, said: “We want residents and drivers’ views about these plans and have set up three meetings where people can come along and find out more about the proposals.”

The consultation events are from 5-7pm on 14 September at Park Hill Primary School, 21 September at St Luke’s Church Hall and 25 September at the Millennium Centre.

Letters will be delivered to homes in the first week of September explaining further details of the proposed scheme and the various ways residents can have their say.

Nicola Elliott, founder and creative director of wellbeing and home fragrance brand, Neom Organics, will be the keynote speaker at a major business awards and celebration this October.

Nicola will deliver an inspirational speech at the 35th Annual Women of the Year Awards taking place at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel on Friday, 6 October.

The event, which includes the prize for Businesswoman of the Year, aims to inspire women and young girls to follow their dreams and achieve their goals in the world of business.

Nicola, who launched Neom in 2005, has done just that.  Having spent  years working 60-hour weeks at glossy magazines in London, she was burnt out and started to notice her own wellbeing suffer, as well as that of her colleagues and close friends.

This kick-started Nicola’s move into the field of wellbeing. She trained as an aromatherapist and nutritionist and from there, Neom Organics was launched.

Today, Neom’s promise is to create 100 per cent natural fragrance for the mind and body and aims to help women (and men) manage their wellbeing in a simple way.  All of the fragrances deliver true therapeutic benefits to relieve stress, aid sleep, boost energy or lift mood.

The company, which boasts countless awards and celebrity fans, has seen continued growth and now retails in three standalone stores, major stockists such as John Lewis, M&S and Selfridges, as well as independent salons and  spas in both the UK and overseas.

Nicola, who won an entrepreneur of the year award in 2012, will describe her career and how she has overseen the company’s expansion, as well as how she steers the creative vision of the brand and ensures that every product Neom creates serves a therapeutic need or purpose

Pauline Edden, director of Women of the Year Luncheon and Awards, said: “We are thrilled to have Nicola Elliott as our keynote speaker on our 35th anniversary event.  It’s always a wonderful celebration for women’s achievements in business and society and to secure such a great speaker means this year’s event is one not to be missed.”

Judy Groves, director of the Businesswoman of the Year Award, said: “Nominations are open for Businesswoman of the Year and we’ve already had some very strong entries. My plea to women, however, is to put modesty to one side and put themselves forward for this award so that women and girls can be inspired by their achievements in the world of business.”

The Mayor of Wolverhampton’s chosen charities are £1,098 better off thanks to the success of the city’s inaugural Festival of Food and Drink.

In line with tradition, the Mayor, Councillor Elias Mattu, has chosen a selection of charities which he and the Mayoress will raise money for over the year.

His chosen charities are Interfaith Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton Sickle Cell Care Centre, Street Pastors, Wolverhampton Central Youth Theatre and Acorns Children's Hospice.

More than 18,500 people attended the Festival of Food and Drink last month, with free tickets on offer.

Just over 1,000 visitors chose to pay on the gate, with half of the receipts going to the Mayor’s chosen charities and the other half to event costs.

Mayor Mattu said: “I’m tremendously proud of holding our first festival of food and drink which bought so many new visitors to the city and gave residents an opportunity to have a fabulous family day out.

“I’d like to thank the promoter for his kind donation and for everyone involved in making the weekend an occasion to remember.

“The money will be divided between the charities to boost the important work they all do.”

Festival of Food and Drink organiser William Power, of Street Banquet and Director of E11EVEN GROUP, added: “The Festival of Food and Drink was a great success, enjoyed by thousands of people, and I’m delighted it also delivered the added bonus of helping these fantastic charities.”

This year, for the first time ever, the annual Christian arts festival, ‘Greenbelt,’ will be partnering with Amal, a British grant-giving fund supporting British Muslim art and culture, which providing opportunities for people in Britain, regardless of their faith or beliefs, to come together and explore the rich diversity of Muslim cultures and arts including storytelling, visual arts, theatre, poetry, music, dance and film.

The festival will be the first time Britain's biggest Christian arts festival, which has previously featured artists like U2, Moby and Cliff Richard, will host such a major Muslim presence with a full programme of performances.

Through this unique initiative, Christian and Muslim artistry, ideas, conversation and spirituality will be showcased together through a powerful ensemble of storytelling, visual arts, theatre, poetry, music and dance.

Championing imagination and values of compassion, conviviality and social justice, Amal believes that culture and the arts broaden horizons and forge common ground within and between communities, as it facilitates experiences, encounters and discoveries that help to address the complex and critical issues facing communities today in an inclusive atmosphere of creative expression and mutual respect. Through its varied activities, it hopes to achieve a deeper and broader understanding of Muslim cultures, thereby adding to the strength and vitality of contemporary British society.

Beginning in 2016, it started as a Programming Fund making grants in support of Muslim cultural productions over a pilot phase of around one year.

Taking place on August 25-28, on the grounds of Boughton House in Northamptonshire, the new Amal @ Greenbelt venue will be curated by Chicago cultural producer, Asad Ali Jafri, aka DJ Man-O-Wax, whop said: “We’re so excited to have received funding from Amal to produce a brand new venue and programme at Greenbelt this summer, showcasing Muslim art, culture, thought and spirituality

And we’re thrilled to introduce the curator we’ve appointed to shape the Amal programme for us this year.”

The UK’s biggest high-end Christmas shopping event, the Spirit of Christmas Fair is returning to Olympia London for its 17th year on the 30 October – 5 November 2017.

Visitors can uncover the most extraordinary gifts with the unrivalled and exciting new collections of 800 independent boutiques, all hand-picked by the Spirit of Christmas Fair gifting experts.

There’s something for everyone at this ultimate destination for Christmas shopping: gifts, home, fashion, baby & child, decorations, health & beauty to jewellery and men's. Discerning shoppers will be spoilt for choice with never-seen-before items across seven straight days.

Visitors will also be treated to exclusive tips and tricks from the best in the business with the complimentary interactive workshops. From creating floral arrangements with one of London’s top florists, to tasting some of the world's most decadent Champagnes with a Master of Wine, there’s something for everyone.

Foodies will rejoice in the gourmet heaven that is The Food Hall, including the Great Taste Food Market. A showcase like no other of the finest culinary delights from handmade Cornish cheeses, organic oils and preserves and the finest oak-smoked Scottish salmon, to luxury Christmas puddings, truffles and caviar. Not to mention the irresistible array of fine wines, teas, spirits and Champagne on offer.

Thi Dinh, Show Manager of the Spirit of Christmas Fair says:  “The Spirit of Christmas Fair is returning for the 17th year and is bigger and better than ever. We go to great pains to ensure every item has a distinct style and quality. We are proud to offer a unique shopping experience, so many of the brands are exclusively available to our shoppers only. Team this up with our interactive workshops with Sophie Conran and Claridge’s and not only do you have everything you’ll need this Christmas under one roof but a day of seasonal retail therapy to just enjoy with friends!”

A Midlands city is preparing for what could be the biggest show of arts and cultural diversity with the ‘70 Rickshaws’ event which will be offering visitors the chance of a free ride in one of the world’s most classic forms of transport traditionally used in India and Pakistan.

Celebrating South Asian culture outside of Asia, the festival is being held to mark the 70th anniversary of both countries’ 70th Anniversary of Independence, with the aim of making 70 rides in a1 hour.

Now in its 7th year, ‘An Indian Summer,’ will see the vibrant passenger cars escorting people throughout the streets of Leicester, in the East Midlands, where it will be making stops at Leicester City’s King Power Stadium, Highcross Shopping Centre and Cathedral Gardens.

Festival Director Jiten Anand of organisers, Inspirate, said: “As a cultural organisation we are delighted to bring this range of world-class programming to the people of Leicester and beyond.

Our goal is to represent the next generation of South Asian arts and culture on the national stage and share this with as many communities as we can.”

Assistant City Mayor Piara Singh Clair says: “An Indian Summer - part of the City Festival, which represents all areas of sports, arts and culture which takes place in the city - is a fantastic project showcasing Indian heritage and culture in creative ways and I am proud to be an partner organisation in this city-wide festival.”

The event, on Sunday August 13, will see rickshaws also accompanying cyclists taking part in British Cycling and Ride Leicester as they race through the city’s streets.

Despite high profile government and police campaigns highlighting the dangers of using a mobile when driving, many motorists are still flouting the law and putting their lives, and those of other road users, at risk. A new study for Kwik Fit, the UK’s leading automotive servicing and repair company, reveals that a third (34%) of drivers are still using their mobile phone without a handsfree set.

The figures are especially alarming as the most recent government statistics show that in five years there was a 24% increase in the number of accidents in which a contributory factor was the driver being distracted by using a mobile phone.

Kwik Fit’s study revealed that more than a quarter (26%) of drivers use their satnav or GPS on their phone, while almost one in five say they take calls (19%) or read text messages (17%). One in six (16%) make calls without a handsfree set, with around one in eight (12%) sending texts. Although some drivers claim they only use their phone in an emergency, more than half a million motorists admit to making calls on almost every journey they make.

Four months on from the introduction of increased penalties for mobile phone use, many drivers remain unaware of the laws and the penalties for breaking them. More than two in five people (43%) do not know that the penalty for using a hand-held phone when driving is six points. The additional focus on inexperienced drivers has also passed many people by, with only 47% of Brits knowing that those caught using a phone without a handsfree set in their first two years will lose their licence.

It is worrying that it is the youngest drivers who are the most ignorant about mobile phone rules, despite the use of a handheld mobile phone having been illegal since before they started driving.  Drivers aged 18-24 are nearly three times more likely than the average motorist to believe it’s legal to use your phone when stopped at traffic lights, and twice as likely to say you can answer calls but not make outgoing ones, and that drivers are allowed to use their phone in slow moving traffic. All these statements are incorrect.

It is also the youngest drivers who are most likely to have experienced trouble on the road due to mobile phone use. 40% of 18-24 year olds have either had a collision or near miss, or got involved in an argument because somebody was using their mobile phone, more than double the figure for all drivers. Almost one in ten (8%) drivers aged 18-24 say they have had a collision because they were distracted by their mobile phone, with a further 8% saying they have almost done so. This compares with figures of 2% and 3% respectively for all drivers.

While many of these collisions may be minor bumps with no injury, government data reveals that there has been a large increase in serious accidents where a contributory factor has been the driver using a mobile phone. The number of accidents in which people were killed or seriously injured increased by 25% between 2011 and 2015, the most recent years for which full data is available.  Although the number of fatal accidents in which a driver has been distracted by a mobile phone has remained consistent at an average of 22 per year – there has been a big rise in the number of accidents resulting in serious or slight injuries.

Flouting the laws on mobile phone use is most common in London, where nearly half of drivers (47%) say they use their phone without a handsfree set. The most law abiding region is the East of England, yet even here, almost a quarter (24%) admit to breaking the law when it comes to mobile phone use.

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said: “The findings of this study are very worrying indeed. While car manufacturers have made great strides in improving safety, it is vital that drivers remember that they are the most important safety feature in the vehicle. Any form of distraction can have serious consequences, as sadly, the statistics clearly show.

“It is especially important for inexperienced drivers to be fully focused on what they are doing. The fact that this report has found that younger drivers have less knowledge of the rules and are more likely to take risks means more needs to be done to educate them in the very first weeks and months of driving. Kwik Fit is working with schools and colleges around the country to hold events aimed at improving the safety of those drivers who are new to the road and education on the use of mobiles is an important part of that.”