Birmingham City Council has launched a new charitable trust designed to support improvements to the ways in which children travel in the city with Churchill Insurance being announced as the first major contributor.

The Young Active Travel Charitable Trust will build on work already carried out by the council to make it safer, easier and more pleasant to walk or cycle to school.

To get things up and running, the council is providing an initial start-up endowment of £75,000 and this has been topped up by £25,000 of sponsorship from Churchill Insurance. This is part of a nationwide campaign by Churchill Insurance to improve safety on primary school crossings throughout the UK and is funding five crossing patrols (Lollipoppers) across the city.

Andrew Armstrong, Carol Mills, Mohammed Khalid, Nilofar Khan and Olive Harris will now be on duty at Blackesley Hall Primary School, Deanery C of E Primary School,Robin Hood Primary School, Adderley Primary School and St Michaels CE Primary School.

Cllr John Clancy, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “We’re creating a Young Active Travel Charitable Trust in Birmingham to make it safer, easier and more pleasant to walk or cycle to school. This sponsorship from Churchill Insurance will help us ensure that our children can travel in a safe and healthy way when out and about across the city.”

Lucy Brooksbank from Churchill Insurance added: “We’re delighted to announce five Lollipoppers for the Birmingham area. We’re sure that each of the five Lollipoppers’ presence on the school crossing is a big step in helping to ensure the safety of every child during the school run.

“We launched this campaign to take a proactive approach to protecting children during the school run and its great to see the product of our work in action – we’re sure the five Lollipoppers will be a fantastic addition to the school run and local community.”

Through the TYoung Active Travel Charitable Trust, schools and groups of parents will be able to apply to the trust for grants (initially up to £1,000 per application) to support the development and introduction of school travel plans and related equipment such as fluorescent tabards for “walking buses”, children’s road safety training sessions, training for staff and parents, signage and publicity materials.

Cllr Clancy added: “As a council we’ve done lots such as the work to introduce 20mph limits, traffic calming measures and the development of better cycling and walking routes but we know that there will be some very specific things needed to address local circumstances – the new trust will give citizens a way to unlock funding for measures other than physical highways improvements that make their areas better places in which to live.”