Your news: Young designer aims to put her stamp on Christmas

Royal Mail stamp designer Nicole
Royal Mail stamp designer Nicole

A budding artist from Crawley is through to the regional finals of a national competition to design the Royal Mail’s 2017 Christmas stamps.

A design by Nicole Jacqueline Kebede, nine, a pupil at St Margaret’s Church of England Primary School in Ifield, was chosen as one of the best from thousands of entries across the South East region.

Royal Mail stamp designer Nicole

Royal Mail stamp designer Nicole

For only the third time in its 500 year history, the Royal Mail has invited the nation’s children to send in designs to be used on the annual Christmas stamps.

Nicole’s design is through to the south east area finals.

Her mum Alexandra Kebede told the Crawley Observer: “Her design has been selected out of 205,000 entries as one of the 120 area finalists, and she has secured £100 for her school - St Margaret’s C of E in Ifield.

“The design will go into a regional final where 22 children will win £500 for their school, and then two will go through to the final, winning £1,000 and having their stamp put into print.”

A statement from the Royal Mail said: “Nicole Jacqueline Kebede’s entry is one that has been shortlisted and will go through to the next stage of the competition where local judges will select their top two designs to represent the region in the national final.

“A national panel of judges will then select the two designs that will feature on this year’s First and Second Class Christmas stamps.

“The stamps will be on sale from November 7 this year.

“Royal Mail has received over 200,000 entries from children aged four to 11 years old from across the UK in response to the question: ‘What does the Christmas season mean to you?’

“Only three times before in Royal Mail’s history – 1966, 1981 and 2013 - have the official Christmas stamps been designed by children.

“As with all Special Stamps issued by Royal Mail, both winning designs will have to be approved by The Queen. Other Christmas stamps for different postal rates, and a religious-themed issue, will also be available from 7 November 2017.”

Judges in the South East regional final will include: Hedley Swain, South East Area Director of the Arts Council England; Kelly Tolhurst MP; Claire Spreadbury, Head of Features at Press Association; Caroline Wright, Director General, of British Educational Suppliers Association; and Tony Fox, Royal Mail Operations Director.

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