British contest to honor heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic
By Denise McCarty
A stamp design contest in the United Kingdom will give school-age children a chance to honor heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The contest was announced April 3 by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Royal Mail.
Johnson said: “The last year has been one of the most difficult any of us can remember, but throughout it all our Covid Heroes have been there for us, inspired us and done so much for others.
“From our family members, teachers, doctors and nurses to our vaccine scientists and fundraisers, we want to recognise and remember them.
“That’s why we’re launching a special competition with Royal Mail for children across the country to design a new stamp collection featuring their Covid Heroes — so we can honour their tremendous work.”
The contest is open to children ages 4 through 14, and the deadline for entries is May 28. A panel of judges will select the eight winning designs from among 120 regional finalists.
According to Royal Mail, the winners will be announced in autumn, and the stamps will be issued in the spring of 2022.
Royal Mail said that the subject of the designs can be wide ranging.
“Children may choose to illustrate frontline workers who work in health or social care. They may also want to celebrate some of the millions of key workers who have helped keep the UK connected during this time. This could include, for example, refuse collectors, cleaning staff, teachers, supermarket workers, public transport staff, delivery drivers and, indeed, postmen and postwomen. There have also been many volunteers who have helped in their local communities or raised money for charity, such as Captain Sir Tom Moore,” Royal Mail said.
Moore (1920-2021) is the World War II veteran who at age 99 raised more than £32 million for charity by taking laps in his garden during the COVID-19 lockdown.
This will be the fifth time that Royal Mail has featured artwork by children on its postage stamps. The previous contests were for Christmas stamps, including Great Britain’s first Christmas stamps in 1966 (Scott 478-479), followed by children’s designs in 1981 (960-964), 2013 (3246-3257) and 2017 (3674-3677).
More details on the new heroes design competition can be found on the Royal Mail website.
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