14 year old’s NHS-inspired toy bear flies onto shelves at John Lewis
Hundreds of toy bears designed by a 14 year old from Edinburgh will arrive on the shelves of John Lewis Edinburgh this week having already launched online at JohnLewis.com, with 100% of the profits going to NHS Charities Together.
Klara Hinze’s blue caped crusader – a heroic representation of and tribute to our fearless NHS staff – was chosen from 17,621 entries after John Lewis invited children across the UK to design a “super bear” cuddly toy that celebrates frontline health workers.
Klara officially named the bear ‘Sparkle’, after one of her own special teddies which she has had since she was four years old. The design features rainbow decorated ears and body in acknowledgement of the NHS and each bear will also have a tag showing Klara’s original design and a message which says: ‘Designed by Klara Hinze from Edinburgh, the winner of our 2020 #DesignYourSuperBear competition celebrating our frontline heroes.’
Klara has been part of the process as her drawing came to life, getting regular updates on its development. In a first for John Lewis, Sparkle features a mask that has been specially attached, ensuring it reflected the unique design whilst meeting the required safety standards.
Sparkle is available for £12 with all profit plus VAT from sales going to NHS Charities Together to support NHS patients, staff and volunteers both during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Sparkle’s designer, Klara Hinze, said: “I hope Sparkle will raise awareness of the amazing job that the NHS has been and is still doing. I have family who work in the NHS and I clapped every week for them. Although we’re not doing that now, it’s important not to forget everything they continue to do for us. It’s been great to visit the store and see Sparkle in real-life for the first time. She’s just how I imagined. I can’t wait to show family and friends.”
Barry Blamire, Head of Branch at John Lewis Edinburgh, said: “We’re incredibly proud to have Klara in store today and watch her finally see her design come to life. Klara’s bear is the perfect tribute to the NHS, with its blue cap and vibrant rainbow colours. It’s a strong reminder of the sacrifices our frontline heroes continue to make.
“We really hope Super Bear Sparkle flies off the shelves and we raise as much funding as possible for our NHS heroes. The fact that it’s a local girl who designed the bear makes it even more special.”
Jane Ferguson, Director of Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation and Trustee of NHS Charities Together, said: “This year has been a difficult one for many and we continue to be overwhelmed by the support of the public for NHS Charities Together’s COVID-19 Appeal. The John Lewis initiative is a great one and it makes it even more special for us at Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation that Sparkle was designed by a local, Lothian girl. We can’t thank Klara enough for her support and we’re sure Sparkle will bring joy to lots of homes across the Lothians and UK.”