Keep an eye out for your post in the coming weeks, because it might come with a rather special stamp attached. Schoolchildren have been busy designing new Royal Mail stamps to recognise heroes of the pandemic, as part of a record-breaking stamp competition.
More than 600,000 designs were submitted from almost 7,500 schools, with 120 regional finalists chosen – children aged four to 14 were asked to think about who their heroes were and to design a stamp in their honour.
The designs received celebrate heroes including NHS workers, parents, carers, refuse collectors, cleaning staff, teachers, supermarket workers, public transport staff, delivery drivers and postmen and postwomen.
The previous highest number of entries received for a stamp design competition was 239,374 for Royal Mail’s Christmas Stamp Design Competition in 2013.
Also among the designs were volunteers who have helped in their local communities or raised money for charity, including Captain Sir Tom Moore.
Boris Johnson said: “It is of great credit to the children of this country that in world record breaking numbers they picked up their paintbrushes, pens and paints and paid artistic tribute to the heroes of our coronavirus response.
“Their brilliant efforts represent the collective gratitude of the nation to everyone who went above and beyond during the pandemic.”
Royal Mail chief executive Simon Thompson said: “We would like to thank all of the 606,049 children who submitted such brilliant designs to the competition.
“We have been amazed and impressed by the sheer volume of entries, and to have achieved a Guinness World Records title in the process shows how much the UK’s children value those heroes who have kept the nation moving during such a difficult period.”
From the 120 regional finalists, a panel of judges will now determine the winning 24 regional designs in November.
Eight winning images will be chosen as official Royal Mail stamps and will appear on millions of items of mail across the UK when they are issued in spring 2022. Here are just some of the finalists.