Schoolgirl's design success

By Rebecca SheppardA SCHOOLGIRL has won a national design competition and will now see her work on the programme cover to the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

By Rebecca Sheppard

A SCHOOLGIRL has won a national design competition and will now see her work on the programme cover to the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

Ten-year-old Natasha Smith, from Holbrook Primary School, scooped first prize in the competition run by Christian Aid, which designed an exhibition garden for this year's prestigious show.

Judges felt that Natasha deserved to see her design on the front cover as she had managed to communicate the Fair Trade thinking behind the charity's garden in a clear and eye-catching way.

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Natasha said: "For my design I had a green background and it had fruit and vegetables round the edge and two cartoon people.

"One of the people was saying "It's not easy but it's ours" and the other was saying "Nice and easy supermarket".

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"We learnt about Fair Trade when our teacher, Mrs Weston, told us a bit when we got the sheet.

"It's harder for some people in different countries to sell their things and it's harder for them to grow their fruits but we can easily here and we can sell them really cheaply."

Christian Aid's garden illustrates how farmers need fairer trading rules so they can sell more food and secure a better future, as part of its Trade Justice campaign.

It is inspired by a market garden project the charity supports in Senegal and is designed to give visitors a chance to see what life is like for thousands of small-scale farmers in the developing world.

As her prize Natasha and her mum will be attending the VIP opening of the show and the garden's launch on July 5, where they will meet celebrities and see Natasha's work printed professionally and handed out to thousands of people.

Natasha will also receive £50 worth of gardening vouchers for Holbrook Primary School to spend on gardening kit.

Sheila Weston, Natasha's year six teacher, said: "The whole school was so proud of her.

"They said that they are not going to alter the design at all and they are going to meet her from the train and treat her like a celebrity."

Children between the ages of seven and 11 were invited to enter the competition either through their school or independently through the Christian Aid websites and Mrs Weston said there were more than 13,000 entries.

The Royal Horticultural Society's Hampton Court Palace Flower Show runs from July 6 to 11 and is one of the biggest garden shows in the world, attracting more than 180,000 visitors each year.

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