Ben McCabe was just four when he had to be rushed to hospital and was left with permanent scars after being injured by a firework that went off course in his back garden.
Now 13, he is fronting a multi-agency firework and fire safety campaign being led by the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
????Remember #FireworkSafety over fireworks season.— Scottish SPCA ?? (@ScottishSPCA) October 28, 2020
Fireworks affect people and animals across the country. Ben was four-years-old when he was badly injured by a firework.
Find out more about our multi-agency campaign:https://t.co/iDpuBfmBNM pic.twitter.com/SnRHuxqnon
Ten organisations are involved in the #FireworkSafety campaign warning young people about the dangers of fireworks and bonfires and how to keep themselves safe.
The Scottish Government, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, and NHS Scotland are among the bodies involved in the campaign.
It has been prompted by concerns over a surge in the private use of fireworks this year due to COVID-19 restrictions preventing organised public displays from taking place.
Key messages are being kept as simple as possible, with the public being urged to "be safe, be kind and be smart around fireworks".
@ScottishSPCA have worked with us and lots of other partners to create a great new #FireworkSafety site with info for primary and secondary ages.— Scottish Fire and Rescue Service – Your Safety (@SFRSYourSafety) November 1, 2020
Visit: https://t.co/iuTm0mmoUq pic.twitter.com/ZK3ju4aFgk
Ben appears in a short film in which he relates his experience and urges people of the importance of staying a safe distance from fireworks at all times.
“I want to tell my story because what happened to me shouldn’t happen to anyone else, and it’s to keep everyone else safe,” he says in the film.
The film is among campaign materials being promoted across the social media channels of the organisations involved in the campaign.
For those who are considering using fireworks in a private setting, we strongly encourage you to familiarise yourself with @fire_scot's firework code & fire safety guidance: https://t.co/tcwkmjjdqG and @scotgov's rules around socialising: https://t.co/r59tRfEUkU #fireworksafety pic.twitter.com/Ik3NYXgQtE— NHS Grampian (@NHSGrampian) November 3, 2020
In addition, an avatar of Ben features in an interactive game and online quiz intended to help show schoolchildren the hazards of fireworks and bonfires.
Lee-ann Howieson, senior comms officer at the Scottish SPCA, told PRWeek: “Fireworks and bonfire season puts an immense amount of pressure on the emergency services and other organisations every year. We took a collaborative approach to strengthen our message to keep the public, our frontline [staff] and the animals of Scotland safe.”
She added: “Ben and his family have been absolutely integral to the campaign. Being able to tell Ben’s life-changing story really shows the importance of knowing who to call and what to do in an emergency. Ben really is a superhero, and his avatar counterpart is educating young people across the country of the dangers of fireworks.”
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