Spotlight on farm safety as Dale Farm production takes centre stage

Caroline Martin, head of marketing with Dale Farm is pictured with Dale Farm mascot Bella; the cast and crew of 'Seasons of Safety' from Pintsized Productions; Mary Nagele, Arts & Business and Aine Dolan from Grand Opera House.

LEADING local dairy company Dale Farm has partnered with the Grand Opera House and Belfast theatre company Pintsized Productions to develop a live theatre tour that brings the importance of farm safety to life for primary schoolchildren.

ale Farm's ‘Seasons of Safety' will tour 21 rural primary schools throughout Co Antrim in May and is the first project of its kind that the Grand Opera House has taken on tour.

Whilst the three-cast production will be open for all ages of primary schoolchildren to experience, a workshop element will follow each performance aimed at P6 and P7 pupils, exploring themes and learnings emerging from the play. Schools will also be provided with farm safety resources for teachers to use with their classes.

Following its primary school tour, the play will be performed live on May 18 at the Balmoral Show as part of Dale Farm's presence at the annual farming event.

Seasons of Safety, supported by Arts & Business, follows the story of Dessie, a child who travels from the town to the country to spend the school holidays with his family. Whilst there, Dessie befriends Becky, a young girl who lives on a local farm and, through a number of amusing exchanges and adventures, educates him about the importance of being ‘farm safe.'

The play explores the various hazards on farms throughout the changing seasons and how to avoid danger.

Caroline Martin, head of marketing at Dale Farm said:

“Farm safety remains a pertinent issue and major concern amongst the agricultural sector and as Northern Ireland's largest farmer-owned dairy cooperative, Dale Farm is keen to help educate the next generation of farmers."

“We liaised with the Health & Safety Executive for Northern Ireland to ensure the production was suitably scripted and covered the most pertinent safety risks on farms for children. We look forward to seeing how the play resonates with the audience in schools and at Balmoral Show this Spring,” she added.

Aine Dolan, creative learning manager at the Grand Opera House, said: “It is commendable that Dale Farm has recognised how live theatre can channel an educational message and we are grateful for their support, and that of Arts and Business, in making this initiative happen."

Pintsized Productions, now in its tenth year, is a professional theatre company based in north Belfast which supports emerging artists. Artistic director, Gerard McCabe added:

“Pintsized is proud to be staging this production which brings theatre right into the hearts of schools in rural communities and, using our talented young artists, puts the importance farm safety firmly centre stage,"

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