Manchester fire service take on children for radio campaign to stop more Mario Balotelli-style firework fiascos

By Paddy von Behr

The people behind Mario Balotelli’s appointment as a fireworks safety ambassador have launched a new campaign for 2012 – radio adverts voiced by children.

The Treacle campaign enlisted the services of eccentric Manchester City footballer Balotelli in October last year, after it was reported he set-off fireworks in his bathroom.

And this year, thanks to a partnership between Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and radio station Key 103, kids from two Manchester schools recorded adverts for the campaign.

“The pupils’ adverts are part of the Treacle campaign and it’s great that they are talking about fire safety around bonfire night with their peers,” said Kathryn Aylett, GMFRS’ Children and Young People’s Programme Co-ordinator.

“We chose pupils from Oldham Academy and Gorton Education Village because over the last two years there have been a number of bonfire and firework related issues in those areas.”

The Treacle campaign is aimed at preventing, tackling and protecting against anti-social behaviour and criminal damage during the Halloween and bonfire period across Greater Manchester.

Councillor David Acton, Chairman of the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, believes this year’s campaign can have a real effect.

“Children learn most from their peers and it’s important that they understand and feel a personal responsibility for bonfire and firework safety in their community,” he said.

“We wanted to work with pupils on the bonfire and firework safety theme to get them excited and engaged as part of Treacle.”

A panel of judges from GMFRA and Key 103 have picked their favourite adverts and the winners will be aired for two weeks from Tuesday October 23 to Monday November 5.

To listen to the adverts and for more information about Treacle, visit

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