A talented Sunderland artist – who is still in primary school – has designed the city’s civic Christmas card.

The card – featuring the young artist’s design – will be sent out by Sunderland City Council to all its councillors and community and international partners, as well as to various civil and military dignitaries.

The Mayor of Sunderland – Cllr Linda Scanlan – is a frequent visitor to St Joseph’s School RC Primary in Rutland Street, and she had the idea to hold a competition among the pupils to design the civic Christmas card.

230 pupils participated in the competition and Cllr Scanlan later visited the school – along with the mayoral consort Mr Micky Horswill – to choose the winning design.

The design selected was by five-year-old Lilia, whose card was based around a colourful snowman.

Cllr Scanlan said, “All the children’s pictures were brilliant and it’s a shame we could only pick one winner, but there was something about Lilia’s that really caught our eye with her imagination and flair.”

“Our city has wonderful talented and creative children in all its schools, and I thought who better to design the Christmas card representing the mayor’s office than pupils from a primary school in my local ward of Millward where I know many of their families.”

“I’ll be very proud to send these Christmas cards out locally, nationally and internationally, sharing goodwill messages with some of Sunderland’s greatest friends, supporters and partners as well as sharing a festive example of the creative talent of our children with the winning design.”

Lilia said, “I felt very excited and happy to be the one that was chosen. I really enjoyed doing the hat on the snowman – it took me a long time.”

Lilia’s winning Christmas card design

Headteacher Mr Groark said, “On behalf of everyone here at St Joseph’s, I’d like to thank the mayor Cllr Scanlan for giving us this opportunity. Children of all ages across the school took part in the competition and really enjoyed it.”

“It’s been a wonderful experience and all our children worked very hard. All the entries were great and everybody can be very proud of their efforts, and we’d like to congratulate Lilia for her winning entry.”

“We’ve met the mayor at a number of occasions this year, such as the Tall Ships and the Heartstone Odyssey multi-cultural event, and she’s always been a great friend to our school.”

To say a civic thank you to the school, the mayor will give a reading at St Joseph’s Christmas carol service on Wednesday 19th December in St Joseph’s Church.

(The featured image shows the Mayor of Sunderland and the mayoral consort with Lilia and her card.)

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