The Bradford City FC Community Foundation, in conjunction with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) and Bradford City AFC, have produced a video promoting fire and firework safety this Bonfire Night. The video features BCAFC stars Harry Lewis, Sam Stubbs, Daniel Oyegoke, Jonathan Tomkinson and club captain Richie Smallwood.
Ian Ormondroyd, CEO of the Bradford City FC Community Foundation, said: “I am delighted that the Foundation and the Club, in getting the players to deliver fire and firework safety messages, are able to increase awareness of issues surrounding Bonfire Night in Bradford. I would like to thank WYFRS for their assistance and guidance as we all work towards making Bradford a safer city in the lead up to and on the 5th November.”
The video includes statistics on the alarming number of fire and firework-related anti-social behaviour (ASB) instances across Bradford during the bonfire period. Every year, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service attend hundreds of incidents across West Yorkshire over the Bonfire period. WYFRS responders have been attacked whilst carrying out their work 72 times over the past five years; 46 of these attacks were in the Bradford District. In 2022, 37% of incidents attended by WYFRS involved an injury.
The video closes with the players emphasising WYFRS’ key fire safety message: ‘Don’t leave yourself scarred for life’.
WYFRS’ other key messages emphasise the importance of attending organised Bonfire Night events, celebrating safely if hosting your own event, and following their bonfire safety advice.
Benjy Bush, Bradford District Commander, said: “We want to thank the Bradford City FC Community Foundation and the Football Club for helping us spread awareness and reach a wider audience with our Bonfire campaign message, ‘Don’t leave yourself scarred for life’.
Last year we responded to 427 bonfire-related incidents, and we are committed to reducing that number. While we encourage you to celebrate, safety is key. Whether you're attending an organised event or having your own bonfire at home make sure to follow our dos and don’ts on our website.”
The video with the players will be shown in schools across the areas of Bradford with the highest concentration of fire-related criminal activity and ASB. It aims to educate young people on the dangers of fire and fireworks. The video will be complemented with materials provided by both the Foundation and WYFRS, generating evergreen educational content which can be delivered annually throughout Bradford.
Oliver Read, the Foundation’s Head of Premier League and Business Development, said: “At the Foundation, we're really passionate about topics that matter in our communities. Through consultancy with WYP and WYFRS, we identified bonfire night as a huge opportunity to use our reach to help spread the firework safety message ‘Don't leave yourself scarred for life’. Through our Premier League Primary Stars programme, we are delivering Bonfire Night resources across primary schools in Bradford, educating the next generation on firework safety with a view to leaving a lasting impact in our communities.”
The Foundation is also in contact with local Imams and Scholars, with a view to having these community leaders generate their own video to increase the reach of WYFRS’ key messages.
Read continued: “We believe that this message is best spread through important pillars in our communities. That's why we're reaching out to Imams, Scholars and other prominent community figures in Bradford to help spread WYFRS’ message as far and wide as possible, showing that everyone cares about making Bonfire Night safe for all of us to enjoy.”
You can watch the video and learn more about the importance of safety this Bonfire Night on the Foundation’s YouTube channel.