Press releases

Lanarkshire schoolgirls scoop national award for toy design

The clever creativity of Ashleigh Beattie, Chelsea Esplin and Mhairi Robertson from Cathkin High School, South Lanarkshire has been rewarded with the top prize in a national competition to design toys which are fun - but also safe.

Cathkin High School’s winning brainchild is a Marvyn Monkey’s Wonder Fun toy that flashes colours and numbers that a child has to find on the monkey’s body and has a dual function by transforming into a nightlight and playing a lullaby in its night-mode.

The design was chosen as the winner of the Playsafe competition at the Trading Standards Institute’s Conference in Edinburgh this week, beating entries from across the UK. The winning team aged between 13 and 14 years old from Cathkin 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.

The girls will be taking back £1,000 worth of computer equipment for the school and a £100 WH Smith voucher each for themselves.

Technology teacher, William Black said that he was delighted with the school’s success in the competition. 'All the pupils who participated did so with a good measure of enthusiasm and their interest was maintained well beyond the submission date. I was repeatedly being asked when the results would be announced.

'The competition, coming as it does near the end of term, is undertaken in a relaxed but determined manner. It is a very good method of introducing younger pupils to the subject of design whilst, at the same time, heightening their awareness of child safety issues in this particular area of child development.'

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.  

'Cathkin High School’s design stood out because it was fun, interactive  and very well thought out – a very deserving winner.'

Roland Earl, director general of the British Toy and Hobby Association (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 the 12-17s age group were Matthew Wedderburn, 14,  from St George’s Roman Catholic High School in Manchester with a Fantastic Fire Engine and Molly Smith, 12, from Homewood School & Sixth Form Centre in Kent with a toy called ‘My Name is Francis’.

The 6-11 year-olds category was won by Rebekka Wearon, 10, from Holywell Primary School in Kent with her design  ‘Nature Time’ and the runner-up was Ben Lord, 10, from Friezland Primary School, Manchester with his design ‘The All Terrain Hurricane’.


Woodlands School from Edinburgh designed ‘The Greedy With Adventure Game’ winning the special schools category. Acknowledging the students’ achievement, teacher Simon Stewart said: 'The children worked extremely hard through art, design and technology and drama within the curriculum for excellence to produce a spirited and exciting concept for a game'.

Notes to Editors
For further information or to arrange an interview please contact the Trading Standards Institute press officer Irja Howie on 07780675815or by e-mail on

17 June 2010

The Consumer Affairs and Trading Standards Conference 2010

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 2010 Conference is being held at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre from Tuesday 15 June to Thursday 17 June.
Journalists and photographers are welcome to attend but should contact the press office on 0845 608 9430 to arrange passes.
Please contact the press office should you wish to organise any interviews – an ISDN line is available for pre-booking.
The conference is hosted by TSI chairman David Sanders and the main sponsor is the Electrical Safety Council.

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

TSI is a training and membership organisation that has represented the interests of the Trading Standards profession since 1881 nationally and internationally.  We aim to raise the profile of the profession while working towards fairer, better informed and safer consumer and business communities.
TSI’s members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities and in businesses.  We are also supporting the delivery of initiatives such as the advice services Consumer Direct, UK ECC and UK ECCS.

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.