This popular competition, which is now in its second year, encourages young designers to think about the challenges that an ageing population presents – and to create innovative, attractive and aspirational designs that allow people to continue to live enjoyable, active and independent lives as they get older.
The winning design by Collyer’s AS level student, Alex Francis is an ergonomic handle designed to hold a number of shopping bags with a unique reminder ring which makes sure you never leave your bags behind again.
The runners up were no less ingenious. Mike Davies designed a vibrating pillow alarm clock ideal for deaf people and also considerate spouses not wanting to wake their partner; Isabelle Parker devised an elegant heated back support and Sam Hammant came up with toast tweezers – perfect for extracting annoying pieces of toast stuck in the toaster. Aston Cheesman’s design was a clever chair port with adjustable tray table and Ben Palmer took the idea of long handled back brushes a stage further with his shower aid which is pre-loaded with shower gel.
We were delighted to be joined at the prize giving not only by the Principal Dr Jackie Johnston, staff, students and parents but also Sean McCrumlish, Chief Officer of Age UK Horsham who came to look at the projects and speak to the students about their designs for older people.
This competition is a group effort and a big thank you goes to Kate Sharp (Faculty leader – Arts and Communications) and Hari Atkins (Subject Leader – Product Design, Materials) who skillfully steered an impressive 85 students through the project and selected the final 20 who presented their designs to the judging panel.
It has not been a great week for education in the UK, with the integrity of our public examination systems being called into question, but occasions like this remind us of the talent and creativity amongst our young people and also the passion and determination of those who teach them.