A BUSINESSMAN has donated 1,500 armbands to help keep the children of Leek safe on the roads.
Chris Dale, who has run Roof Man in Leek for three years, has had the reflective armbands produced and donated them to five first schools in the town.
The gesture by the father-of-one comes as the dark nights are fully here.
The 27-year-old wanted a way of helping make children safer on the roads - including his own four-year-old son Levi.
Chris, who specialises in roof maintenance and repair, said: "I just wanted to give something back to the community, something that will help the children to keep safe.
"Fortunately I have not known of any cases of accidents myself but can see how it could happen easily during the dark nights if people are wearing dark clothing.
"Around a month ago, I was driving across the Morrisons roundabout in Leek and my friend, who was in the car with me at the time, had to point out two lads who were crossing the road. I hadn't seen them as it was dark.
"With these reflective bands at least children who are wearing them will be more visible to drivers. I also work in the protective industry as a bodyguard so am always looking out for ways to protect people. My son is my world and anything I can do to help protect children is good."
The schools which have accepted the donations of the safety armbands, which have the slogan 'Be Safe, Be Seen', for their pupils include Beresford Memorial First, Leek First, St Mary's Academy, Westwood First, and Woodcroft First.
Headteacher at Westwood First School, Vicki Woollacott, said: "We annually support Road Safety Week when pupils learn about keeping safe when walking to and from school and crossing the road.
"Around 1,400 children aged up to 11 years are killed or seriously injured on Britain's roads every year. As part of Road Safety Week, which is normally held in May, one of the key messages is 'Be safe, be seen' - on dull days wear bright or fluorescent colours. Therefore the wristbands donated by the Roof Man company will help us to reinforce the safety message."
Westwood First School pupil Jake Sposito, aged eight, said: "I understand how helpful wearing these armbands will be for drivers as they will be able to see us better in the dark.
"We have been taught to stop, look, listen and live when crossing roads."