Press releases

Ingenious Davyhulme boy collects top national prize

Ingenious nine-year-old Jack Hamer, from Manchester, collected £1,000 worth of computer equipment for his school - thanks to his winning design for a toy that is safe, as well as fun.

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 2007 PlaySafe competition, beating off more than 500 entries from youngsters up to 17.

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

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.

Mike Drewry, TSI lead officer for Young Consumers of the Year and PlaySafe competitions, said: 'In our annual competition we look for designs for children's toys that are not only fun and imaginative but also safe. We had some brilliant entries - but Jack's was the biggest hit with the judges.'

Judging took place last June at TSI's annual conference and exhibition at Manchester Central Convention Complex and Jack was presented with the computer equipment and a framed certificate at the Toy Fair, Excel, London, on Wednesday 30 January.

Mrs Beverley Davies, Jack's Head teacher, said: 'All the children in Year 4 entered the competition as a class project. Jack has done brilliantly to win and we are all very proud of his achievements.'

Roland Earl, director general of BTHA, said: 'Jack shows great promise as a toy designer and his 'Skelo-Mix' looked as though it would be great fun for children as well as showing the common sense safety features that would be necessary if it went into production.'

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'.

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 raise standards of practice in the industry. Today, the association has 148 members who, between them, are responsible for over 95% of the British market for toys and games, valued at £2.1 billion. The BTHA also organise the Toy Fair at ExCel, London.

Consumer Direct - 08454 04 05 06

Consumer Direct is a Government-backed telephone and online consumer advice service which works in partnership with Local Authority Trading Standards. It provides clear, practical and impartial advice and information to help consumers resolve problems and disagreements with suppliers of goods and services. Consumer Direct is available from 0800-1830 Monday to Friday, and 0900-1300 Saturday, excluding bank and public holidays.

Calls cost a maximum of 4 pence per minute from a BT landline. Calls from mobiles or other networks may vary. Your service provider may charge a minimum cost per call. The advice and information given is free.