Press releases

Davyhulme boy’s invention wins top national prize

Ingenious nine-year-old Jack Hamer, from Manchester, has carried off the top prize in a national competition to design toys which are fun - but also safe.

Jack, a pupil at St Mary's CE Primary School, Davyhulme, 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.

He wins £1,000 worth of computer equipment for his school and £100 W H Smith gift vouchers each for him 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 26 June at TSI's annual conference and exhibition at Manchester Central Convention Complex.

Jack's design was for a 'Skelo-Mix' - to which plastic body parts could be attached. His drawing even suggested that fake blood could make the eyes and head pop off.

'Jack has got a very good imagination and is also a talented artist - and this competition put the two together,' said his teacher, Aidan Brierley.

'It's wonderful that he's won such a big competition, with great prizes both for him and the school.'

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 had some brilliant entries - but Jack's was a big hit with the judges.'

David Hawtin, director general of BTHA, said: 'Jack's 'Skelo-Mix' certainly looked as though it would be great fun for children as well as showing the commonsense safety features that would be necessary if it went into production. He shows great promise as a toy designer.'

The runner up in Jack's age group was 11-year-old Peter Young, of Bishop Vesey Grammar School, Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, who designed the 'Game House'.

The winner in the 12 to 17 age group was Sherelle Senior, aged 13, of Bruntcliffe School, Morley, Leeds, with the 'Alpha Ship'. Another pupil from Sherelle's school, 14-year-old Sally Sheldon, was runner-up with a toy called 'Climb It'.

Further information: Louise Jew, TSI Press Office, 0870 872 9030.

Notes to Editors

Founded in 1944, the British Toy & Hobby Association 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 0207 701 7271, fax: 0207 708 2437, e-mail:, website:

Trading Standards Institute

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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.

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