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Rasharkin Primary School pupil announced as a finalist in Royal Mail Heroes Stamp Competition

Above: Entry from competition finalist Harry Wilson (8), Rasharkin Primary School, Ballymena - ‘Captain Tom Moore’

Harry Wilson, a pupil at Rasharkin Primary School, has been announced as one of 120 regional finalists in the Royal Mail Heroes Stamp Competition which attracted 606,049 entries from across the United Kingdom.

Each of the 120 regional finalists will receive £100 in gift vouchers and £100 for their school.

Royal Mail launched the competition to help the nation celebrate and honour the amazing efforts of key workers and others during the pandemic.

The announcement comes as Royal Mail secured a Guinness World Records® title of Largest postage stamp design competition, which received an incredible 606,049 entries. An astonishing 7,479 schools submitted entries.

The previous highest number of entries received for a stamp design competition was 239,374, achieved for Royal Mail’s Christmas Stamp Design Competition held in 2013.

Royal Mail’s Heroes of the Pandemic stamp competition is now officially:

Guinness World Records

Largest postage stamp design competition

Other competition announced finalists, chosen from Northern Ireland, include:

Rose Malone (4), St Mary’s Primary School, Ballyward, County Down - ‘Police’

Thomas Ferris (7), Hardy Memorial Primary School, Armagh

Cadey-Lee Jess (14), Banbridge Academy, Banbridge - ‘Captain Sir Tom Moore’

Megan Barbour (13), Friends School, Lisburn, County Antrim - ‘Those who discovered and administered the vaccine’

Grace Smith (14), St Patrick’s High School, Keady, County Armagh - ‘A frontline runner - Claire Gormely’

Niamh McGowan (11), Loreto College, Coleraine, County Londonderry - ‘Essential workers’

Rhianne Cully (13), Lurgan Junior High School, Craigavon - ‘Tom Moore’

Alex Hull (14), Lumen Christi College, Londonderry - ‘Emma’

Hannah McMordie (13), Friend’s School, Lisburn, County Antrim - ’NHS Workers’

Commenting on the competition Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“It is of great credit to the children of this country that in world record breaking numbers they picked up their paintbrushes, pens and paints and paid artistic tribute to the heroes of our coronavirus response.

“Their brilliant efforts represent the collective gratitude of the nation to everyone who went above and beyond during the pandemic.

“Congratulations to all those who have made it to the next round and thank you to everyone who has taken part and to the teams at Royal Mail for managing this record number of entries.”

From the 120 regional finalists, a special panel of judges will now determine the winning 24 regional designs in November.

From these 24 entries, eight winning images will be chosen as official Royal Mail stamps. They will then appear on millions of items of mail across the UK when they are issued in the Spring of 2022.

The competition was open to UK schoolchildren to mark the important role played by key and frontline workers, as well as others, during the pandemic. Children, aged 4 to 14, were given the chance to design an official Royal Mail stamp as part of a special set of eight. Children were asked to think about who their hero or heroes were, and to design a stamp in their honour.

The designs received celebrate a wide range of heroes, including: NHS workers; mums; dads; carers; refuse collectors; cleaning staff; teachers; supermarket workers; public transport staff; delivery drivers and, indeed, postmen and postwomen. Also depicted on the designs were many volunteers who have helped in their local communities or raised money for charity, such as Captain Sir Tom Moore.

As with all Special Stamps issued by Royal Mail, the final eight stamps will be sent to Her Majesty The Queen before they can be printed and issued.

Only five times in the company’s 500-year history have children designed official Royal Mail stamps: 1966; 1981; 1992; 2013; and 2017.

The winners will follow in the footsteps of highly acclaimed children’s illustrators who have designed stamps in the past, such as: Quentin Blake; Nick Park; and Axel Scheffler.


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