The first-ever British Astronaut, Helen Sharman, was a special guest of Flair’s last Wednesday at a private London ceremony to award the winners of its first Spirograph Young Designer of the Year Awards.
Helen joined Flair’s Nicola Bergot presented the awards to the young winners and runners up.
The search for the UK’s Spirograph Young Designer of the Year began back in January and involved children being asked to create a night sky or space picture inspired by the shapes and patterns created with Spirograph. Pictures were then judged by a panel including team members from Flair and also by Helen Sharman, who has an obvious affinity with this year’s theme.
“I loved Spirograph when I was young and with this year’s theme I was delighted to be involved,” Helen said. “We had lots of entries and it’s really good to see how the children interpreted the space and night sky theme. Well done to all the winners and runners up!”
After much deliberation the awards were announced and presented by Helen at the Covent Garden Hotel.
Peter Bridgeland aged 11 from Sheffield was announced as winner of the 8s and Over category with his creation, Binary Star, while Isla Avigad, age six, from Chorleywood was the winner of the 7s and Under category with her colourful picture called Meet the Aliens.
Also present were the runners up. Phoebe Hampton from Folkestone was recognised for her stunning creation of the Solar System called Out of this World, alongside sisters Rosa and Anna Gomes (ages seven and five) with their joint work of cut-and-stick artwork called The Planets.
Nicola says: “I first met Helen during a BTHA event where, as guest speaker, she told of how Spirograph was one of her favourite toys. It was only natural therefore to invite her to be part of this inaugural Spirograph Young Designer competition. Her help in both judging and presenting the awards was invaluable and I know that the children and their parents were absolutely thrilled to meet her.
“After the formalities we were all treated to afternoon tea and the children had time to chat about her amazing time in space. They even presented her with a cake to celebrate her birthday which was the following day. It was a lovely day and we’d like to thank everyone for entering the competition and to Helen for making it so special.”