An animation created and designed by children from Millbank Primary School to encourage smokefree homes was one of the winning entries for the Excellence in Tobacco Control Awards for Wales which took place in Cardiff yesterday.

The children, aged 8 to 9 years, came up with the thought provoking ‘Smokefree Spaces’ animation to raise awareness of the health impacts of smoking, the risks of smoking in the home, and to encourage adults to stop smoking around them.

The aim of the Awards is to recognise best practice for creative and innovative initiatives in the areas of tobacco prevention and cessation in Wales. Other winning entries included initiatives to tackle illicit and underage sales of tobacco, a hospital smoking cessation service, and projects to bring health information and advice to local communities.

Presenting the Awards was ASH Wales’s new patron, paralympic sailor Stephen Thomas. Stephen has recently been selected for the Great Britain Paralympic sailing squad for London 2012 taking place in Weymouth next summer.

Stephen represented Wales at Under 18 level in Rugby Union before being struck down at the age of 18 with septicemia. In life saving surgery Stephen had both his legs amputated below the knee and discovered Paralympic sport soon afterwards determined to pursue a sport at the highest level.

The Awards were open to groups and organisations in the following categories:

NHS organisations including Health Boards

Winner: Secondary Care Smoking Cessation Service, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
Highly commended: Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Statutory and Local Authority Organisations

Winner: City and County of Swansea Environment Department
Highly commended: Stop Smoking Wales; Communities First Port Talbot

Organisations Working With and For Young People, Including Youth Led Organisation and Schools

Joint winners: Millbank Primary School; Abertillery Comprehensive School, Abertillery and Cwm Tillery Communities First and the Hearty Lives Blaenau Gwent Project

Voluntary Sector Organisations

Winner: Tenovus

Academic and Research Organisations

Winner: Bangor University
Highly commended: Cardiff Institute of Society and Health

The Awards were sponsored by Pfizer, Bedfont Scientific Ltd, McNeil Ltd, and GASP. Winners received a carbon monoxide monitor and £100 worth of tobacco control merchandise.