Royal Crown Derby ‘Make a Mug, Make a Difference’ campaign gives youngsters the chance to use artistic skills to support the NHS


A competition has been launched by Royal Crown Derby to encourage young people to use their artistic skills to celebrate the NHS – and leave a lasting legacy of the vital role of healthcare professionals in these unprecedented times.

The company has created the ‘Make a Mug, Make a Difference’ competition, which will see winning designs exhibited in the V & A, and rolled out into production.

Royal Crown Derby Artisans aim to produce 26,299 of the winning designs, to celebrate every day since the formation of the NHS on 5 July 1948 to its 72nd anniversary in 2020.

The competition has two entry categories, for the under 12s and 12-18- year- olds.

Entries will be shortlisted by Royal Crown Derby’s in-house design team, before artist and children’s author Liz Million selects the winner in each category.

Both mugs will be priced at £30, with 100 per cent of profits being donated directly to the ‘NHS Charities Together COVID-19 Urgent Appeal.’

The mugs are immediately available to pre-order via the Royal Crown Derby website and each purchase includes a free ticket to tour the Royal Crown Derby factory and museum. Those wishing to buy the mug as a gift have the option to add a personalised gift message to their delivery.

Managing Director, Christopher Oakes, said: “Everyone at Royal Crown Derby had a strong ambition to support the NHS, especially as many of our team have front line workers in their immediate family.

“We explored several options, but we ultimately chose this campaign as it allows us to support the NHS by offering 100 per cent of our profits and help British families who are also facing unprecedented challenges.

“We hope our entry packs will give children a much-needed challenge, boost creativity, and encourage them to learn about how precious the NHS is.

“We’ve added the option to include a personalised message card as we hope many mugs will be given as gifts to loved ones or as a thank you to the frontline hero’s, who are protecting and serving us all.”

Royal Crown Derby is the oldest surviving British pottery maker and has a long history of creating high quality commemorative pieces dating right back to the coronation of King George III in 1761.

Today it makes luxury fine bone china for retailers, hotels and restaurants and, whilst many of its clients have temporarily closed due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, the company is still able and willing to make the mugs and make a difference.

Museum Director, Elizabeth Woledge added “It has been a real pleasure to work together on this campaign.

“Our entry packs encourage young people to explore the process of design and explore their creative abilities.

“Royal Crown Derby’s history includes the work of some extremely talented artists and designers, some of whom were working as apprentices as young as 13.

“We are looking forward to opening the entries and seeing some of the amazing talent which we know is out there among young people today.”

Competition entries are now open and will close at 4 pm on May 7, 2020.  The winners will be invited to Derby to meet the design team and see how the mugs are made from start to finish at the factory, in the heart of England.

The winners will also take a tour of the Palace of Westminster with Jo Gideon MP and will be presented with the first mug off the production line together with their framed artwork.

They’ll also visit the V&A, the world’s leading museum of art, design and performance, where their mugs will be exhibited.

Tristram Hunt. Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, said “The V&A is delighted to be able to endorse this important and innovative response by Royal Crown Derby to the COVID-19 emergency.

“Our front-line workers need all the help and funding possible, and it is wonderful to see a great British pottery company encouraging ceramic skills with the next generation in support of such a worthy cause.

“We look forward to welcoming the winning young designers to the V&A in South Kensington.”

Jo Gideon MP, commented “As an MP and Parliamentary Private Secretary to BEIS (department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy) I’m passionate about the NHS, the future of young people and business, including the ceramic industry.

“That’s why I’m delighted to support this amazing competition, which not only celebrates our wonderful NHS but will raise much needed funds for the NHS All Charities Together COVID-19 Urgent Appeal.”

Royal Crown Derby are also grateful for the generous support of Global Ceramic Materials limited who are generously providing a discount on the raw materials meaning that even more money can be donated to the NHS Charities Together COVID-19 Urgent Appeal.

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