PUPILS at a Port Glasgow primary had the ‘bear’ essentials after winning an Inverclyde-wide anti-smoking competition.

Youngsters in P2/1 at St Michael’s saw off 20 other local schools in a contest to choose a name for a cuddly toy as part of a campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of smoke inhalation.

They named the bear ‘Captain Cuddles’ and it was picked by Reigan Davidson, who is in P2.

The contest, organised by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC) in partnership with Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP), began with pupils across the district each receiving a copy of the book ‘Jenny and the Bear’.

It tells the story of a little girl and her favourite cuddly toy who develop a bad cough and other smoking-related symptoms after being exposed to second hand smoke by her mum and dad.

As competition winners, St Michael’s pupils were presented with their very own large ‘Captain Cuddles’ mascot for the class, smaller versions for all the boys and girls to take home and individual certificates.

P2/1 teacher Maria Moses said: “The children were given a book about a teddy who breathes in smoke at home and also didn’t have a name. 

“We talked about possible names for the teddy with each pupil offering their own ideas.

“The children then voted for their favourite and decided on Reigan’s suggestion. The competition helps raise awareness of an important issue and I’m delighted that my class and St Michael’s have won.”

The aim of the competition is to increase awareness of the effects of secondhand smoke on children and what parents and carers can do to ensure their young ones are not exposed to its harmful effects.