Elliot Heald, a 10-year old from St Elizabeth's RC Primary School, Wythenshawe, has beaten over 6,000 budding young designers from across the country to win a nationwide sock design competition.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first Fairtrade products sold in the UK, the Catholic aid agency CAFOD – a founding member of the Fairtrade Foundation – teamed up with SockShop to launch the special competition for 7-11 year olds to design an exclusive Fairtrade-themed sock.
Designs were submitted by more than 6,000 pupils from a staggering 142 schools, but Elliot, a Key Stage 2 pupil, was selected as the winner thanks to his beautifully creative design, and understanding of Fairtrade. The panel of judges impressed by Elliot's design included award-winning actress Jo Joyner, formerly Tanya Branning on Eastenders, and a senior designer from SockShop. As a prize, Elliot will receive a £100 voucher to spend at SockShop and will see his design made into a limited edition sock which will be sold on the SockShop website.
On finding out that he had won the competition, Elliot said:
"We learned about Fairtrade in school and I really enjoyed it because it's interesting to see how you can help other people. When I was designing my sock, I remembered that Fairtrade is about paying people a fair wage for things that they produce. It's about making people happy. So that's why I designed a sock with a smiley face made out of fruit.
"I can't believe that I won the competition. It really is amazing and I'm so excited that my design has been made into a sock and is being sold by SockShop. There are no words to describe the feeling!"
Jo Joyner said:
"I know it's a cliché but it truly was so difficult to choose the 10 finalists and then even harder to choose a winner. There was so much thought, time and creativity that had gone into the designs. Some of the slogans were worthy of a top ad agency! Most impressive was the fact that all the children seemed to have grasped completely the concept of fair trade.
"Elliot's design impressed the judges because it said so much in such a simple way. The smiling face out of the fruit demonstrating the happiness that fair trade brings. Crucially, in terms of a design, the colours, the fact that the design is on the ankle of the sock and the sense of humour displayed made Elliot's a really wearable sock. Congratulations!"
CAFOD Schools Programme Team Leader, Monica Conmee, said
"We are absolutely thrilled at the number of schools and individuals who entered the competition from all over the country. It's clear that the children have loved learning about the important issues surrounding Fairtrade in an interactive and creative way, whilst taking part in a unique competition. This has been the perfect way to celebrate 20 years of Fairtrade products in the UK."
CAFOD works with children, young people and young adults in England and Wales to deepen an understanding of the causes of global poverty and injustice, and offers ways to take action to bring about a just and sustainable world.
Visit cafod.org.uk/fairtradefeet to view the designs from all the runners up and the competition winner.