Esme’s monster is top of the trolls

Esme Bediako with her winning design
Esme Bediako with her winning design
Tributes left outside Fareham Academy.

Picture: Ian Hargreaves (180012-4)

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IT’S green, nasty-looking and it wants to steal your secrets.

It’s an award-winning troll designed by 11-year-old Esme Bediako to warn youngsters about dangers lurking on the internet.

The design has won the Wimborne Juniors pupil an iPad in a competition as part of a Beware of Lurking Trolls! internet safety campaign.

Esme, who is in Year 6, said the troll would help remind children to protect themselves when using the web.

She said: ‘I had to design a troll for e-safety and cyberbullying.

‘It tries to come into different computers and take information from them.

‘It’s green and it has wobbly legs so it can slither into computers.

‘Because it’s important to stay safe online, I thought it would be a good idea to make the troll to show that it’s bad to be mean online.’

Cllr Rob Wood visited a school assembly to present Esme with her prize as well as a certificate and a professionally drawn-up version of her troll.

Cllr Wood said Esme’s troll – called Slitheror – was well-designed and sent a clear message.

‘He pokes his nose into other people’s business and he’s got big ears so he can listen in,’ he said.

Cllr Wood said he was delighted with participation in the competition, which attracted hundreds of entries from dozens of schools.

‘We’ve had a lot of great feedback about this project,’ he added.

‘Internet safety is normally a very dry subject but we’ve gone back to basics and produced something very visual that children can engage with.’

The council joined forces with the Portsmouth Safeguarding Children Board, the Youth Parliament and the University of Portsmouth for the campaign.

Cllr Wood said he hoped the campaign would go national.

‘We have ambitions for it to go a bit wider,’ he said.

‘The bottom line is that we can promote online safety for children.’

Deputy headteacher Sarah Luker said e-safety was an important issue for all schools.

She said: ‘Our school thinks it’s very important to make sure that children are safe online, not just at school but at home as well.’

Esme’s troll will join four others – the Tormentor, the Melware, the Spirus and the Prentendar – seen in internet safety messages on the big screen in Guildhall Square.

The campaign uses vibrant artwork to appeal to children and young people and has led to the production of a tips leaflet, stickers, posters, and colour children’s book.