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Ellinor’s Ice Cream serving up colouring books to warn schoolchildren across Medway of stranger danger and road safety advice

Children are getting more than they bargained for when they rush out to buy their lollies and ice creams.

Along with their sugary treats, they are also handed a free colouring book which includes stranger danger warnings and road safety tips.

Family affair, from left, Bonita, Mark, Diane, Rachel and Robert, front
Family affair, from left, Bonita, Mark, Diane, Rachel and Robert, front

The gesture comes from Rainham-based family-run business Ellinor’s Ice Cream which has so far given out about 1,000 copies to young customers across Medway.

It’s the brainchild of Robert Ellinor who has spent the winter months creating the fun publication which is distributed from their fleet of five vans.

He said: “We started up more than 20 years ago and like to think we are a huge part of the community.

“We are not doing this for profit. It’s simply that as a family we want to give something back to the community where we live.

“We make a point of going into schools and the response we are getting from parents about this is amazing.

“If we can make a difference to help children think about road safety, it's our responsibility as a local business to do so.

“If we can even make just one child think before stepping into the road or one child understands what a stranger is and the risks, we've all done our bit and it's all worth it.”

Last year, Mark Ellinor, who launched the company with his wife Diane, issued a warning to schoolchildren to “head for the chimes” if they felt they may be at risk.

Mark Ellinor - serving a safety message to children
Mark Ellinor - serving a safety message to children

The idea was to create a “safe zone” from the vans amid reports of stranger danger incidents near a primary school.

Mark, 61, said: “We have built up a reputation as a household name over the years - and people trust us.”

He put out a plea to parents to approach one of their distinctive purple and yellow vehicles or listen out for his Yankee Doodle Dandy theme tune if they feel uneasy about a situation.

Robert, 31, who does the artwork and branding for the business, spent months creating the booklet which includes quizzes and word searches.

He thanked companies in Medway which have supported his venture, including Wigmore Florist, Spice Fusion in Parkwood and Sundar Rachana restaurant in Lower Rainham.

Robert helps out in the business with his fiancee Alex, sister Bonita and her wife, Rachel.

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