Children at St Anthony’s School inspired by local accountants

MJH Accountants decided to take quite a unique approach to their Christmas cards this year. Instead of purchasing the usual mundane corporate cards to send to their clients, they asked the children at their local school to produce a design for them.

Based in the heart of Fulwood, MJH Accountants was keen to try and include their local community. With its managing director Mark Hall having attended St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School in Fulwood, he approached head teacher Rachel Ballard about the possibility of running a competition.

Mark said: “We wanted a more personal approach to our card this year, especially as it’s our first Christmas in our new offices. We were thrilled that Mrs Ballard was so enthusiastic about the concept. Providing children with the opportunity to be involved in a competition that allowed them to display their creative skills proved very motivational indeed.”

Mark wrote a letter to all the children, asking them to design a card that summed up what Christmas meant to them. The letter was met with great excitement by staff and pupils alike.

Rachel Ballard said: “We have fairly recently embarked upon a project to improve the quality of the school’s art work, so the Christmas card competition fitted in perfectly. On top of that, it gave the children the opportunity to discuss the meaning of Christmas and, not surprisingly, Father Christmas.”

Of course, a competition needs to have a winner and this presented everyone at MJH with the unenviable task of judging all the entries. There were a huge variety of designs, with some simple drawings to others that had a lot of intricate detail and were wildly colourful. It demonstrated just what a wide range of feelings the children have about Christmas. Whilst the overall quality was excellent, there was one particular card that really was quite distinctive and had a wonderful wintry and festive feel to it.

Mark presented the prizes at a recent school assembly, where he also gave a little talk, explaining to the children that he’d once attended their school. He spoke about why he’d chosen to be an accountant and encouraged the children to have fun but also work hard at school.

Mark added: “The anticipation as the children waited for the winner to be announced was quite nerve-racking, but was a delight to see.”

Unfortunately two of the prize winners were away at a sporting event that day, but luckily they both had sisters on hand to receive their prizes for them.

22 cards were shortlisted and from these the three best were selected, with the winning card going on to be printed. The 19 shortlisted children all received a chocolate selection box. The 3rd prize of a £10 book token went to Nema Dawkins, 2nd prize of a £15 book token was won by Emily Mayson and collected by her sister Aimee. The winning card was drawn by Maddie McAteer, who won a £20 book token, which was collected by her sister Holly.

The winning card has already gone into production and will be sent to all MJH’s clients and colleagues.

Mrs Ballard concluded: “We’re delighted that Mark asked us to do this. We all loved being involved and it has genuinely stimulated our children to be more creative. Participating in a competition which has a tangible result at the end of it that the children can see has enthused them no end.” MJH is hosting its Christmas party at its premises at 129 Woodplumpton Road on the 11th of December, where the winning card will be displayed for all to view.