Wearside youngster wins MP’s Christmas card competition

MP Sharon Hodgson with the Christmas card winners.
MP Sharon Hodgson with the Christmas card winners.

A Sunderland youngster’s Christmas card design will be winging its way to London.

Leighton Bell, eight, a pupil at John F Kennedy Primary School, scooped the top prize in Washington and Sunderland West MP, Sharon Hodgson’s annual Christmas Card Competition.

MP Sharon Hodgson with overall Christmas card winner Leighton Bell.

MP Sharon Hodgson with overall Christmas card winner Leighton Bell.

The youngster’s design emerged as the overall winner from dozens of competition entries from primary school children during an awards ceremony at the Washington Arts Centre.

The panel of judges, which as well as Sharon Hodgson MP, included Anthony Sutherland, from Washington Components Ltd, Will Pitcairn and Lauren Ruff, from Sainsbury’s Washington, and Matthew Blyth from Washington Arts Centre.

Leighton’s design will now be printed on the front of Mrs Hodgson’s Christmas card and will be sent to top politicians and public figures across the country, as well as local groups, organisations and community leaders.

Leighton won the Years 4-6 age-category, Anya Charlton of Bexhill Academy, won the nursery and reception category, and Matilda Smith of Grindon Hall Christian School, won the Years 1-3 category. Anya and Matilda will both have their designs featured on the inside of the Christmas card.

The talent and imagination of the children on display never fails to astound me

MP Sharon Hodgson

Mrs Hodgson’s Most Promising Artist Award, chosen by Susan Coles, an honorary fellowe of the National Society of Education in Art and Design, was presented to Rio Miyauchi from Wessington Primary School.

The MP said: “It is always an absolute honour and delight to run this competition each year and kick off the festive period by celebrating the wonderful creativity of local school children from across the constituency.

“The talent and imagination of the children on display never fails to astound me, and Leighton’s design showed a unique and creative flair. It will be such a wonderful design to send out across the political world and in our local community.

“As always, thanks must go to the teachers, school staff and the parents for their support, and of course, most importantly, the children who make the day such a memorable one. A special mention must go to the Arts Centre and local businesses who help make the day such a success.”