News item

Students pit their consumer knowledge against MPs and industry experts

During this year's Labour and Conservative party conferences, Trading Standards Institute (TSI), in collaboration with the Financial Ombudsman Service, held Young Consumer of the Year (YCOY) versus MPs and members of the upper house and industry experts competitions. The competitions tested their knowledge on consumer rights, savvy shopping, money and government.

In Brighton, at the Labour Party Conference, Hastings' St Leonards Academy sent Natasha Read, Sam Coleman, Nathaniel Allen, Rhys Hodd, to compete against Kat Hodgkinson, Head of External Affairs for Personal Finance Education Group (PFEG) Tamzin James, Parliamentary Officer for Citizens Advice Bureau and shadow consumer minister Ian Murray MP. Although the MPs' team were extremely competitive, it was St Leonards Academy who won, with 95 points to 86.

At the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, students Jack Parker, George Edwards, Edward Stallworthy and George Thornton from Abbey Grange Academy, Leeds, came close to beating Robin Walker MP, Damian Hinds MP, Justin Tomlinson MP and Founder of Kids Count Linda Lawrence. However, it was through the cunning tactic of playing the point-doubling joker card in the parliamentary question round that saw the MPs pull away and eventually win 119 point to 99. 

Young Consumers of the Year, a competition organised by TSI, offers young people the chance to learn and then demonstrate their awareness of their environment, government and their ability to be streetwise about what they eat, what they buy and how they manage their money.

During the build up to the competitions and referring to the YCOY competitions held at TSI's annual conference, past competitor @benwatts2 tweeted TSI to say '@tsi_uk I'm big fan of #ycoy it started my interest in consumer law. I took part a long long time ago! Glad it still going!'

TSI chief executive Leon Livermore said: “It is fantastic to see so many young people take part in this event. I’m confident that the knowledge they gain will stand them in good stead for their life ahead as consumers or indeed as good business people. In today’s increasingly complex world, it is becoming more and more important for everyone to know about their rights and responsibilities so they can stand up for themselves and make informed decisions.'   

To join in with next year's YCOY competition, taking place on 2nd July 2014, please click here. For more information regarding the competition, please contact 


Notes for Editors:

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact the TSI press office on 0845 608 9575 or

Trading Standards Institute (TSI)

TSI is a training and membership organisation that has represented the interests of the Trading Standards profession since 1881 nationally and internationally.  We aim to raise the profile of the profession while working towards fairer, better informed and safer consumer and business communities. TSI’s members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities and in businesses. 

DATE: 02 October 2013