Primary school students from Barnsley have been putting their creative skills to the test by taking part in a competition aimed at raising awareness of cancer prevention.

The Healthy Options poster competition, launched by the Cancer Services team at Barnsley Hospital, aims to raise awareness of the importance of healthy lifestyles in preventing cancer.

The children were asked to design a variety of posters promoting healthy lifestyles. The categories which included; how to protect your skin from the sun, how to keep healthy and fit, and the dangers of smoking and alcohol, really got the children’s creative juices flowing.

The cancer services team have now selected 15 finalists and are inviting the public to pick the winner by voting for their favourite posters, which will be displayed in Barnsley Library until 16th October.

Zoe Lowe, service improvement facilitator, said: “We have already received more than 250 entries and we have been delighted with the standard. Choosing a winner will be a very difficult job which is why we’re asking the public to help. The posters are on display in Barnsley Library so please go along and vote for your favourite.

“Over half of all cancers could be prevented by choosing to lead a healthy lifestyle. Most people recognise the dangers of smoking, drinking too much alcohol and sun damage, but not many make the link between exercise and a healthy diet. These are both factors which can reduce the risk of developing a cancer.

“Even if people recognise the risk factors, many have already made their choices and find it difficult to change their habits. The poster competition was designed to educate children that good health, in many cases, is an option and something they have direct control over. Campaigns like this will hopefully lead to our children making informed choices about their lifestyle habits from a young age and will go some way to reducing our cancer incidence in Barnsley.”

Many of the entries will be used by a new mobile cancer information unit due to launch next year. Prizes for the competition winners have kindly been donated from local companies and include free bowling passes at Barnsley Bowl, family entry to Canon Hall Farm and a Magna family pass.

The winners will be announced at the end of October. To cast your vote please visit Barnsley Library before 16th October.

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