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  1. Cycling Proficiency SchemeSafe Cycling with A guide for Centra retailers

  2. Background to Cycling Proficiency Scheme Centra has committed to sponsorship of the DOE Cycling Proficiency Scheme for two years from April 2004. The Cycling Proficiency Scheme is run by the DOE Road Safety Service. In addition the Road Safety Council, a volunteer body, organises local events through its committees and also the Road Safety Championships in June, where the best participants compete for prizes. The scheme was established in the 1970’s to help promote road safety for children in Northern Ireland. The programme aims to save lives by teaching children about the dangers of the road, how to cycle safely and be responsible road-users. The Cycling Proficiency Scheme runs in schools each year and the main events are April-June – providing lots of opportunities for media coverage and community involvement. 10,000 kids take part in each year – a total of 300,000 kids over the past 30 years! The age range for participating children is 9-11yrs.

  3. The aim of the partnership between Centra and DOE Cycling Proficiency Scheme • To create a mutually beneficial partnership between Centra and DOE Road Safety and to promote awareness of the Cycling Proficiency Scheme. • To generate excellent public relations benefits for Centra and retailers. • To provide us with opportunities to network key decision makers locally e.g. DOE, schools, Councillors. • Centra will be helping raise awareness of the importance of road safety for children, and this initiative will impact on the community as a whole in terms of its life-saving impact. • The initiative will be operating Province-wide and therefore the opportunity exists for all Centra stores to get involved. • Audience reach: school age children, parents, teachers, education authorities, local authorities, government departments, councillors, council workers. • These people are your customers or potential customers! • This is another opportunity to reinforce our integration into the communities we serve and to increase the profile of our community involvement strategy.

  4. You and the Cycling Proficiency Scheme! • Centra stores are an integral part of the local community. • As a ‘good corporate citizen’ you are naturally concerned about the safety of local children on the roads. • Show your community that you are becoming involved in the collective goal to save children’s lives! • Encourage your local schools to participate in the Scheme by making contact with them … principals, teachers and the PTA in local schools. • Become an active promoter of the Scheme locally and contact your local Road Safety Council volunteer committee (see contacts list attached), or speak with other business players in your community and set one up. • Volunteer on the day of the Road Safety Championships in June and help score the kids as they compete. • Help the Road Safety Council promote their local art competitions and other events to raise awareness of the scheme.

  5. You and the Cycling Proficiency Scheme! • Make opportunities for local press coverage. Here are some ideas for you to consider: • Put up Centra/DOE Cycling Proficiency posters in-store and tell your local papers that you are involved! • Get in touch with your local schools, see if they are taking part, get involved and make sure you are in the pics! • Stock bells, brightly coloured belts and lights in-store and tell your local paper why you are doing it? • Attend a local school when the kids are doing their training or on ‘test days’ and tell the local papers about it. • Ask your local school can you attend prize-giving days when Cycling Proficiency certificates are being given to pupils who pass their tests and jointly invite local papers along. • Centra stores are right in the heart of our communities. We know it and our customers know it, but make sure that they realise how seriously we take our responsibilities as good citizens! And, as importantly - be seento do it.

  6. Giving and getting back! • Retaining the loyalty of our existing customers and getting new customers will secure future business • Winning friends for our business, by being seen to be giving something back to the community, will help us achieve this • So plan your activity for supporting Cycling Proficiency Scheme and share it with us. • Email Nicky Kelly with your thoughts – • We can share them around! • Always ensure ‘strong branding’ when you are planning local press coverage … use the shop signage! • Good luck!

  7. Important dates 2004 April 1 – Official launch of Cycling Proficiency Scheme and Centra sponsorship May/June – Test days at schools June – School prize-giving days June – Road Safety Championships organised by the Road Safety Council September – Cycling Proficiency Scheme calendars delivered to schools

  8. PR plans Public relations activity will commence with the launch of the Cycling Proficiency Scheme and Centra’s sponsorship at the start of April. This will provide opportunities to promote Centra’s support of the scheme nationally and locally. Local papers will be issued with press releases from April-September at key dates, including the Road Safety Championships in June. You can impact on local PR by organising your own activity with schools and the local branch of the Road Safety Council – making sure to tell local media about your support and the initiatives you are involved in! MSVC NI have commissioned a PR consultant to ensure the highest possible media coverage of the sponsorship – as per the Centra sponsorship of Action Cancer’s School Action programme. Our consultant will work closely with the DOE Press Office.

  9. Contact us! If you would like to ask questions or discuss ideas for your involvement and local Cycling Proficiency Scheme initiatives then please contact us. The main contact for the scheme at MSVC NI will be Nicola Kelly in the Marketing Team – Tel, 028 9078 7252 or email – We will be issuing you with regular updates on the progress of the scheme. Look out for local press coverage. For more information on the Road Safety Council look online at