News item

Bradford girl’s invention wins top national prize

Ingenious 10-year-old Shannon Dunne, from Bradford, has carried off the top prize in a national competition to design toys which are fun - but also safe.

Shannon, a pupil at Low Moor CE Primary School, in Low Moor, not only won the six to 11-year-old age group but also the overall prize in the PlaySafe competition, beating off more than 500 entries from youngsters up to 17.

She wins £1,000 worth of computer equipment for her school and £100 WH Smith vouchers each for her and the school.

PlaySafe is organised by the Trading Standards Institute (TSI) and sponsored by the British Toy and Hobby Association (BTHA).

Judging took place on Tuesday 24 June at TSI's annual conference and exhibition at Bournemouth International Centre.

Shannon's design was an activity mat called 'Zoom Boom', which sees players carry out a number of tasks issued by a central electronic speaker.

Learning mentor Cathy Crompton said: 'We are so proud of all our children at Low Moor and Shannon has done exceptionally well.

'All our children know the importance of being active and having fun at the same time so it is lovely Shannon has incorporated this in her design. We look forward to seeing how Shannon's career as a toy inventor develops in the future! We are all really proud of her.'

Mike Drewry, TSI lead officer for Young Consumers of the Year and PlaySafe competitions, said: 'We were looking for designs for children's toys that were fun and imaginative - but also safe to use. We selected Shannon's design as the overall winner because we had not come across anything like it before and it helps keep children active.'

Roland Earl, director general of BTHA, said: 'This year's entries showed wonderful inventiveness and there were some great designs.

'Every year the task of selecting a winner becomes more and more difficult.'

The runner-up in Shannon's age group was a joint entry by Rachael Bates and Iona Eagles, of Allington Primary School, in Maidstone, Kent, for their 'Alice in Wonderland Croquet' design.

The winners in the 12 to 17 age group were 13-year-olds Colin Copeland, Barry Leonard and Jack Cummings, of Cathkin High School, in Cambuslang, Glasgow, with 'Sail the World'. Elliot Wood, aged 14, of Bruntcliffe School, Morley, was runner-up with 'Monster Winks'.

The judging panel for the competition was made up of Mike Drewry, of TSI, and Jerry Burnie, Roland Earl and David Hawtin, all of the BTHA.

Notes to Editors

The national Consumer Affairs and Trading Standards Conference 2008, organised by the Trading Standards Institute (TSI) - a 'must' for consumer journalists!

The TSI-hosted annual Conference and Exhibition is the leading consumer affairs and trading standards event in Europe.

Conference 2008 is being held at Bournemouth International Centre from Tuesday 24 to Thursday 26 June. The conference press office will be open from 8am on Monday 23 June (the day before the event starts) until 2pm on Thursday 26 June.

Journalists and photographers are welcome to attend but should contact the press office on 0845 608 9430 to arrange passes.

The conference is hosted by TSI chairman Bryan Lewin.

Almost 2,000 people are attending the conference, including representatives from local and central government and those interested in fair trading, representatives of business and commerce, together with consumer organisations. This makes it an ideal place for consumer affairs journalists to mingle and make contacts!

Trading Standards Institute

The Trading Standards Institute has represented the interests of Trading Standards professionals for 120 years. We have a long and proud history of ensuring that the views of our members are well represented at the highest level of government, both nationally and internationally.

Our aim is to promote excellence and enhance the professionalism of our members in support of empowering and informing consumers, encouraging and working with honest businesses, targeting rogue traders and rogue trading practices and contributing to the health, welfare and wellbeing of citizens and communities.

TSI members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities in response to 2 million consumer and business complaints and enquiries each year. They also support the delivery of new initiatives such as Consumer Direct, providing first point of contact practical consumer advice.

They also work in the business, consumer and central government sectors in promoting and influencing the safety, prosperity and enhancement of individuals and markets with a dependency on effective and professional trading standards contributions and interventions.

British Toy and Hobby Association

Founded in 1944, the BTHA is the official organisation representing Britain's £2.1 billion toy market. The Association promotes the highest standards of safety, quality and responsible behaviour in the manufacture and marketing of toys, games and playthings.

Contact the BTHA on:

Tel - 0207 701 7271
Fax - 0207 708 2437
Email -
Website - BTHA