Local secondary school art student wins regional heat of prestigious Royal Mail stamp competition

Local secondary school art student wins regional heat of prestigious Royal Mail stamp competition

The competition, which was open to children aged between 4 and 14, was launched earlier this year with the aim of asking schoolchildren to think about who their heroes are. They were then asked to design a stamp in their honour.

Children from over 7,500 UK schools entered the competition and a shortlist of 120 pupils was then drawn up. Their images were judged by a panel including The Prime Minister, Rt Hon. Boris Johnson MP, the family of Captain Sir Tom Moore, Baroness Floella Benjamin and Simon Thompson, CEO of the Royal Mail. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “It is of great credit to the children of this country that in world record breaking numbers they picked up their paintbrushes, pens and paints and paid artistic tribute to the heroes of our coronavirus response. Their brilliant efforts represent the collective gratitude of the nation to everyone who went above and beyond during the pandemic. Congratulations to all those who have made it to the next round and thank you to everyone who has taken part.”

The previous highest number of entries received for a stamp design competition was 239,374 for Royal Mail’s Christmas Stamp Design Competition in 2013 so the 600,000 plus figure for this year has far exceeded that and resulted in the competition earning a Guinness World Records accolade.

Royal Mail chief executive Simon Thompson said: “We have been amazed and impressed by the sheer volume of entries, and to have achieved a Guinness World Records title in the process shows how much the UK’s children value those heroes who have kept the nation moving during such a difficult period.”

The 120 regional finalists were then edited down to just 24 last month and Raphael’s design was one of them. His illustrates an NHS cleaner at work while other entries celebrated carers, refuse collectors, teachers, supermarket workers, public transport staff, delivery drivers and postmen and postwomen.

By succeeding at this level, Raphael has won a prize for himself and a £500 prize for the school. TWGSB’s Head of Art, Ms Kublik, commented: “As soon as we saw Rafi’s piece we had a feeling it would go far! We were so impressed with not only the beautiful quality of his skilled composition, but also the thoughtfulness behind his design, and his recognition of NHS cleaners and the work that they do to keep a hospital running. We are exceedingly proud of him!”

A TWGSB added: “Usually stamps are issued to honour the achievements of famous British people, including scientists, explorers, writers and artists, but since the coronavirus pandemic began there have been many people who have done great things. These are the people who have helped the country through a really difficult time and these are people who are depicted in the competition.” The next stage of the competition sees the regional finalists’ designs being reviewed by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.

The list of 120 will be then edited down to just eight and the overall winners will be announced on February 28 2022. The winning eight stamp designs will be sent to Her Majesty The Queen

Raphael’s inspiring design is shown above and all the regional winners can be found on stampcompetition.ichild.co.uk

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