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Animation student has designs on bringing death education to life


A University of Wolverhampton student is getting animated about winning a design contest recently.

Sadie Buckley, 19 from Stone in Stafford, entered a competition run by CEDAR Education CIC, a non-profit community interest company that specialises in delivering death education programmes to professionals such as the police, health & social care, pastoral care, counselling and law amongst others.

Through his advisory work with CEDAR, Dr Stephen Jacobs, Course Leader in Media & Cultural Studies, recommended the Animation team for the project. The competition tasked first year Animation degree students with creating a ‘dragon of death’ design for use on Death Education Learning Packs for schools across Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire, with a view to rolling the programme out to the wider West Midlands.


Judith Wester, Director and Founder of CEDAR Education CIC, said: “We have developed special programmes for young people aged 10-24 years to help them understand, accept and respond to death, dying and loss in healthy and appropriate ways among their peer group, families and community.

“Our young students wanted death represented in a different way from skulls and skeletons. We examine death from both cultural and social perspectives and wanted the design to reflect a Chinese dragon without wings.  Sadie’s wonderful design will appear on our textbooks, learning materials and hopefully become a national learning programme for secondary schools. Her design was captivating.”

Sadie said:  “I’ve been drawing dragons since I was little and have always been fascinated by them so this was a great competition to be involved with.  I did lots of research about death and dying and I designed it with animation in mind in case, in the future, they want to take the design a step further and want the dragon to start moving!”

Ross Winning, Head of Digital Media at the University of Wolverhampton, said:  “It’s vital that we encourage real-life projects like this, giving students the opportunity to engage with business and organisations at the start of their studies.  The students have been energised by the project and it’s really important that they start to think early about what kinds of careers they can move into with their qualification – everything from graphic design through to feature film animation.  The competition entries were of a very good standard for first year students.”

Sadie was awarded with £100 prize winning money.

Picture caption from left to right: Stephen Jacobs, Course Leader in Media & Cultural Studies, Sadie Buckley, Judith Wester and Ross Winning.

Students from left to right who took part in the competition: Charlotte Lenihan, Becky Banks, Sadie Buckley, Dominic Rogers and Alice Stacey.


For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

Date Issued: 13th December 2016

For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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