In the light of the recent announcement about the re-introduction of the Cycling Proficiency Test through the 'Bikeability' award scheme, leading national charity the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust (BIRT) is reminding children and young people about the importance of wearing cycle helmets in its second annual Look After Your Head campaign.

In its campaign launched last month as part of national Brain Injury Awareness Week, BIRT (which is a division of The Disabilities Trust) has teamed up with the Moto in the Community Trust to promote a poster campaign (downloadable from www.birt.co.uk). This is aimed at highlighting the key message that the wearing of cycle helmets is a crucial factor in reducing the possibilities of a serious head injury. The poster campaign is currently running alongside a competition, in which pupils at selected schools near to BIRT's rehabilitation services across the country are being invite to produce a design for a poster which will be adopted as the poster for its 2008 campaign. The Moto in the Community Trust, which is the charitable arm of Moto, the UK's largest provider of motorway service stations, will also be holding a competition involving its own network of over 40 schools situated close to its sites. Creativity International are also supporting the campaign with prizes of 'Art Attack' sets.

BIRT's campaign is again being endorsed by the British Medical Association (BMA), from whom statistics show that an estimated 90,000 road-related and 100,000 off-road-related accidents occur every year in the UK, of which 53% involve children under 16.

Lynn Turley, Service Director for BIRT, says "we are pleased to support the move towards encouraging more children and young people to benefit from taking up cycling. However, at a time when the issue around severe head injury is receiving some significant media attention, with the aftermath of the Richard Hammond case and the recent primetime television drama, this is a timely opportunity to make a contribution to help in the prevention of brain injury by promoting a simple, yet effective message."

Brian Lotts, Chairman of The Moto in the Community Trust said: "One of the key objectives for The Moto in the Community Trust is to promote road safety in our communities. It's a fact that you don't have to be travelling quickly to sustain a serious head injury. That's why it's vital that children always wear protective helmets when they're riding their bikes and why Moto in the Community Trust is delighted to be supporting this campaign."

The BMA's Head of Science and Ethics, Dr Vivienne Nathanson, said "The BMA would like to see every cyclist and particularly every child cyclist wearing a good quality helmet. The evidence from countries where compulsory cycle helmet use has already been introduced shows a decrease in cycling-related deaths and head injuries. The BMA is 100% behind the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust's campaign to encourage children to wear cycle helmets."

-- The Look After Your Head competition is being targeted only at selected schools in the vicinity of BIRT's services nationwide, which include York, Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Aylesbury, Cullompton, Ely and Horsham. For further information about the competition, please visit www.birt.co.uk.

-- The Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust (BIRT) is one of Europe's leading independent providers of brain injury rehabilitation services, ranging from assessment to comprehensive rehabilitation, long-term housing and care, and community-based support. BIRT currently supports over 550 people with acquired brain injury through ten specialist residential units and several community-based housing schemes across the country.

-- BIRT is a division of the national charity, The Disabilities Trust, which provides expert care and support services to people with profound physical impairments, autism and learning disabilities, as well as brain injury. For further information on the work of The Disabilities Trust, please visit www.disabilities-trust.org.uk.

-- For further information about getting involved with the 2008 Look After Your Head campaign, please contact David Eggleston, Marketing & Fundraising Manager for The Disabilities Trust, on 01444 237294 or 07734 972779.

-- The Moto in the Community Trust aims to make a difference to the local communities that its Moto sites are part of. Moto operates 48 service areas around the UK, employing around 5,000 staff. For more information, please visit www.motointhecommunity.co.uk.

-- For more information on the new 'Bikeability' award scheme, please visit www.bikeability.org.uk.

www.disabilities-trust.org.uk

www.birt.co.uk