Schoolchildren’s artwork on Merseyside Police vehicles to celebrate Black History Month

An art competition for primary school pupils across Merseyside to design a poster celebrating Black History Month was launched in May and the winners have now been revealed.

One of the winning Black History Month entries on the side of a police van.

Police vehicles across Merseyside have been emblazoned with pictures drawn by local schoolchildren to celebrate Black History Month.

Schools from across the Liverpool City Region took part in a competition earlier this year to design a poster based on figures who have made a difference from the past, present or their own communities.

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One of the winning designs for the BHM competition. Image: @AinsdaleStJohns/twitter

The posters were judged by senior officers in Merseyside Police, partners from the local councils, the International Slavery Museum and the Anthony Walker Foundation.

Each of the winning schools will have their artwork displayed at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool and receive a guided tour.

Winning designs

Winners included a drawing of James Clarke, who worked as a lifeguard in Liverpool and Manchester United footballer and campaigner Marcus Rashford.

Clarke stowed away on a ship bound for Liverpool from Guyana (then British Guiana) in 1900, when he was 14.

He was adopted by an Irish family living in the Scotland Road area. Clarke worked on the docks and joined Wavertree Swimming Club.

Clarke saved many locals from drowning in the Mersey and the docks, and taught countless others to swim, according to National Museums Liverpool.

Merseyside Police posted a video on Twitter, which has already had thousands of views, of the police vans visiting winning schools across the region.

One of the winners was Hugo Atkinson, a year six pupil at Ainsdale St John’s primary school, Sefton, who drew a picture of arms reaching out to a heart featuring words such as ‘inspiration’ and ‘empowerment’.

He said: “I thought it would be good because it was simple and if you saw it on a police car speeding by, you’d be able to tell at least a bit of what it was.

“I did the different races because unfortunately there’s a lot of racism in our world and in my opinion everyone should be as equal as each other.”

Reaction

Sergeant Azizur Rahman, Local Policing, who organised the art competition, said: “We received some fantastic entries, and this competition offered a great opportunity for pupils to learn about Black History Month and to celebrate and understand the impact of black heritage and culture.

“It was important that this competition engaged with young people and helped them to understand why Black History is so important in challenging negative stereotypes so we can make a positive and potentially life-changing impact within our communities.”

Adam Duckworth, Learning and Participation Team Leader, International Slavery Museum, said: "Congratulations to all the students who shared their incredible creativity and passion for making a difference.

“Black history is essential to understanding our shared history all year round, so it is wonderful to see so many inspirational Black people and movements being celebrated around the Liverpool city region."

Winning schools

Liverpool – St Clare’s Catholic Primary

Sefton – Ainsdale St John’s

St Helens – Eaves Primary

Wirral – Our Lady of Pity

Knowsley – St Anne’s Catholic Primary