The NSMC has been working with the Hastings Opportunity Area to improve school attendance levels in the town.

When we spoke with parents in Hastings, many of them told us that they were unclear about the guidelines around when children should come to school with minor illnesses such coughs and colds. This uncertaintly results in a significant number of pupils needlessly missing school.

Following a number of co-design events with teachers, parents and young people, we therefore created the character of Percy the Pirate Seagull to help parents and carers understand the guidance on minor illnesses and school attendance. Anyone who knows Hastings well, will understand the importance of seagulls and pirates to the town!

This attendance campaign features a range of humorous cartoons that have been distributed to schools and primary school pupils in the town. Percy is also currently starring in a radio campaign on the local radio station. 

We believe that humour can play an important part in bringing about behaviour change.