Press releases

Manchester School Girl Scoops National Award for Toy Design

The clever creativity of Amber Hainey from Walkden, in Manchester, has been rewarded with the top prize in a national competition to design toys which are fun - but also safe.

Amber's winning brainchild is a velcro vest and helmet toy called Flick & Stick - it comes with an arm sleeve stuffed with woolly balls.  The two players throw the soft balls at each other aiming for the targets printed on the outfits -the one ending up with the most points wins!

The 14-year-old from St George's RC High School not only came top of the class in the 12 - 17 year-olds category but was also overall winner of the entire competition, beating off more than 500 entries.

She will be taking back £1,000 worth of computer equipment for her school and two £100 WH Smith vouchers - one for herself and one for the school.

Head of technology at St George's school Philip Westcott said: ' This is wonderful news, we are absolutely delighted that Amber has come through as the overall winner of a national competition.
'We like to encourage our pupils to take part in competitions like this to showcase their many talents.'

TSI's chief executive Ron Gainsford said: 'This competition is a great way to engage children and young people in  a fun way , while raising awareness about the importance of safety features in the design of toys.  The key elements the judges are looking for in the entries are a fun and different design and clear attention to the safety of it in use.  
'Amber's design stood out because it was fun, interactive  and very well thought out - a very deserving winner.'

Roland Earl, director general of BTHA, said: 'Yet again we received some fantastically inventive entries - every year I am impressed by the creativity of the design.  As ever selecting a winner was very difficult!'

The joint runners-up in Amber's age group were entries by two 13-year-olds from the Highsted Grammar School in Kent.  Tanya Paine's Choochoo train, that is activated with clapping, and Jessica Bell's educational soft toy Ellie the Alphabet Elephant impressed the judges with their colourful and innovative designs.

A design by 11-year-olds Hannah Butler and Tara Santos from Kent scooped the top prize in the 6 - 11 year-olds age group.  In Cheeky's Challenge a monkey whizzes around a tree loaded with bananas - the players use their banana-shaped remote to try to drop and aim the fruits in the monkey's trolley.

Adam Devanney, aged 11, from Low Moor C of E Primary School in West Yorkshire was runner-up in this category with his remote control car Cheezomania.

The top award for special shools was scooped by Nathaniel Rogers from Oakwood High School, in Eccles, Manchester.  His design was for Dinako,  a remote controlled, roaring, rubber dinosaur.

Notes to Editors

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact the Trading Standards Institute press office by phone on 08456 089 430 or by e-mail on pressoffice@tsi.org.uk

The Consumer Affairs and Trading Standards Conference 2009

The national Consumer Affairs and Trading Standards Conference 2009, organised by the Trading Standards Institute (TSI) is a 'must' for consumer journalists!

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

The 2009 Conference is being held at the Brighton Centre from Tuesday 30 June to Thursday 02 July. The conference press office will be open from 9am on Monday 29 June (the day before the event starts) until 5pm on Thursday 02 July.

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 Peter Denard.

Some 3,000 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 - admin@btha.co.uk
Website - www.btha.co.uk