Jon’s legacy sees Melrose pupils win new award

Back row - PC Karen Ballantyne, Sheena Chappell, Karen McGrath of SBC and PC Calum Wilson; front row - Melrose Primary pupils Elliot Etherington and Kai Waddell with the Jon Chappell Memorial Shield
Back row - PC Karen Ballantyne, Sheena Chappell, Karen McGrath of SBC and PC Calum Wilson; front row - Melrose Primary pupils Elliot Etherington and Kai Waddell with the Jon Chappell Memorial Shield

A pair of pupils from Melrose Primary School proved how streetwise they are by winning a new award named in memory of a dog who helped promote road safety.

The school’s junior road safety officers Elliot Etherington and Kai Waddell won the inaugural competition, after the primary seven pair produced a video for parents and carers involving local community and police.

The Jon Chappell Memorial Shield was named after the three-legged springer spaniel, who accompanied owner Sheena Chappell to relay road safety messages to hundreds of school pupils across the Borders, after the dog lost his leg in a road accident.

Jon sadly passed away last year, which inspired ex-police officer Sheena to donate the Jon Chappell Memorial Shield to the school which came up with the most original road safety campaign.

Sheena said: “Taking Jon around the schools was a very good way of showing the children a visible consequence of inattention on our roads.

“It was fantastic. The kids loved Jon and Jon adored the kids. He had a wonderful life and he did so much for the children.”

Elliot said: “We all remember Jon coming to the school ... he was brilliant.

“We’re excited and shocked to get this award. We were asking Mr Wallace (depute headteacher) constantly if we had won it, but he kept it a secret.”

The video explained issues around parents and carers parking on zig-zag lines and near to junctions on Huntly Road, and encouraged them to use the designated drop off and pick up points at the health centre car park, Melrose Rugby Club car park or St Mary’s Road.

The school’s depute headteacher Jamie Wallace added: “As a school, we are very proud of our junior road safety officers and it is fantastic to see them leading the way in the community.”

Sheena Chappell presents Melrose Primary pupils Elliot Etherington and Kai Waddell with the Jon Chappell Memorial Shield.

Sheena Chappell presents Melrose Primary pupils Elliot Etherington and Kai Waddell with the Jon Chappell Memorial Shield.

Councillor Gordon Edgar, SBC’s executive member for roads and infrastructure, said: “Sheena and Jon played a vital role in educating our young people in road safety and this new award will mean their legacy continues for future generations. We will continue to encourage parents and carers to walk, cycle, scooter or park and stride to school with their children where possible.”

The council’s school travel co-ordinator Karen McGrath said: “Melrose is one of the schools that works well with the local police and the safer routes to school team.

“This award is about the children coming up with their own ideas that are important to their own school.”

Community police officer PC Callum Wilson, who appears in the video with the boys, said: “I was approached by the school to see if I could help them out.

“The boys made a really good job of it. They used their own initiative and put their points across very effectively.”