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Shannon shows designing a new toy is child’s play

A creative Bradford schoolgirl was treated to a fun day out in London as reward for beating off hundreds of other youngsters to win a national competition.

Shannon Dunne, a former pupil at Low Moor CE Primary School, in Low Moor, won the PlaySafe competition to design a toy that is both fun and safe.

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

The 11-year-old's design was picked by judges ahead of more than 500 other entries from youngsters across the country aged between six and 17.

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

The judges praised Shannon's design for its uniqueness and for the way it encouraged children to be active.

Shannon spent the morning at top London tourist attraction Madame Tussauds on Friday (05 December) as part of her prize for winning the competition. The youngster was joined by her mother, brother and grandmother for the day out which included lunch at a hotel in Baker Street.

Roland Earl, Director General of the BTHA, also presented Shannon with a framed certificate and £1,000 worth of computer equipment for her school.

He said: 'When we judged the competition, we were very impressed with Shannon's entry. It combined all the elements of safety we were looking for with a unique, imaginative and attractive toy design that helps children keep active - whilst also being fun for children to play with together.'

Ron Gainsford, chief executive of TSI, also accompanied Shannon and her guests during the day out.

He said: 'The aim of the PlaySafe competition is to encourage children to think about how toys need to be safe, as well as fun - and Shannon's idea certainly fitted the bill for that.

'Besides the educational value of inspiring invention and innovation, the knowledge about safety should stand them in good stead when they choose the toys they want to play with - and, for the future, it gives them an awareness that will help when they have children of their own.

'I am delighted Shannon and her family were able to join myself, Roland and others from BTHA for a day out in London. A great time was had by all and the trip was just reward for Shannon's excellent design.'

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 BTHA.

Notes to editors

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 (BTHA)

The BTHA was founded in 1944 to represent the interests of British toy manufacturers and to promote high standards of practice in the industry. The association has over 150 members who, between them, are responsible for over 90% of the British market for toys and games, valued at over £2bn.