A Perthshire pupil’s drawing showcasing her dreams of lockdown easing has been chosen as a national winner by popular TV presenter Ben Shephard.
Manon Schembri, an S1 pupil at Perth High School, is one of 10 winners in the 12-16 age category of the Bottle Moments competition.
Launched during the second lockdown, it tasked pupils across the UK with drawing what they most dreamed of doing once the Covid-19 restrictions ended.
Manon, a keen explorer, shared her hopes of climbing up Scotland’s mountains and open water swimming with her family.
The Good Morning Britain presenter selected the 12-year-old’s artwork from thousands of entries to be one of 40 national winners.
The competition was launched by illustrator Rob Murray and psychologist Dr Kevin Dutton to help parents and teachers with wellbeing activities during lockdown.
Her design was not just chosen by Ben – it is also hoped he can present the budding artist with her prizes, either in person or virtually.
Organisers are hoping the winning entries will be featured on the breakfast show and cartoonist Rob will formally present Manon with her lockdown artwork professionally illustrated onto a mug and t-shirt.
Manon, delighted to have won, said: “It was such a nice surprise to find out I had been chosen as a winner.
“The competition was just a nice thing to do on the side of school work because lockdown had been quite stressful.
“I love to go places in Scotland with my family, like the Borders, and we go open water swimming and hike up Munros.
“But because of Covid and the restrictions, we’ve not been able to travel as much as we normally would.
“I didn’t realise the drawings were going to be chosen by Ben Shephard. It was a nice surprise to find out that he liked my work.”
The Perthshire school encouraged pupils to participate in the project during the virtual art club, set up by teacher Charlotte McGoldrick to help pupils de-stress during the school closures.
Miss McGoldrick said Manon is a “hugely talented” artist with a bright future.
'This can be a great way for them to express themselves.'
Cartoonist @RMurrayCartoons, who drew 300 Bottle Moments, shares his hopes of children getting back into drawing and being creative during the lockdown.
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) February 5, 2021
She said: “Manon winning the competition is a really big achievement for the school as it highlights success within an international competition, especially as she is Scottish and the majority of winners are from England and Wales.
“The school is very proud of Manon’s success which is even more special as she created her artwork while we were in lockdown.”
Charlotte, a probationary teacher at the school, said it was a great way for pupils to connect during a difficult period.
“A lot of kids who do art do it in their spare time as a way to relax but because of lockdown, extra-curricular activities couldn’t go ahead,” Charlotte added.
“It was a good way to improve their mental health while they were stuck at home and it took them away from the computer screen for a bit while they were drawing.”
Bottle Moments was first launched at the start of the pandemic to celebrate frontline nurses and doctors.
Well done Manon! https://t.co/80U8vby0L2
— Perth High School (@PerthHighSchool) April 30, 2021