Northumberland teen with rare disorder wins research logo contest

From left, Amanda Bellwood, from the Great North Childrens Hospital; Kirsty Hart, from Cargo Creative; Hannah Middleton; Chris Elliott, from Making Research Better; and Catherine Harrison, from Great North Childrens Hospital.
From left, Amanda Bellwood, from the Great North Childrens Hospital; Kirsty Hart, from Cargo Creative; Hannah Middleton; Chris Elliott, from Making Research Better; and Catherine Harrison, from Great North Childrens Hospital.
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A KEVI pupil with a rare connective tissue disorder has won a competition to design a new logo for a top research organisation.

Hannah Middleton’s design for Making Research Better, the North East and North Cumbrian representatives for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), will now be the recognised brand logo for all their work in children’s clinical research.

The 13-year-old has a rare disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, which can affect her breathing, and also leaves her dangerously susceptible to everyday knocks and grazes.

Hannah saw details of the competition at the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle when she was receiving skin grafts after being accidentally kicked in the leg while out with her horse.

Hannah, from Rothbury, said: “I was really thrilled when I heard that I’d won the competition. I think it’s great that they allowed children to submit designs for their new identity as its people like me they’re trying to improve the treatment of.

“It was so great to see my poster in a huge frame. They gave me a copy too, so that’s going up on my wall in my new bedroom.”

Hannah’s design beat more than 80 other entries in the contest, which was run by Cargo Creative.

Dr Chris Elliott is PPIE manager for the NIHR CRN North East and North Cumbria and Making Research Better. She said: “Hannah’s design was a standout submission among many entries. The aim of the competition was to give children’s clinical research a necessary brand identity of its own; something that patients, their families and the general public can identify as a source of the highest quality, reliable and important work.

“We’re extremely grateful to everyone at the Great North Children’s Hospital and the RVI for their support with the competition and their dedication to delivering essential children’s clinical research that improves services and treatments for children across our region.”

As well as seeing her design used across all of Making Research Better’s website and literature connected to children’s clinical research, Hannah has also won a £50 Amazon voucher, kindly donated by Cargo Creative. The competition was launched during NIHR’s recent NIHR@10 campaign, marking their tenth anniversary of facilitating research that helps answer questions for the NHS.

Amanda Bellwood, play specialist from the Great North Children’s Hospital at the RVI, added: “We’re so thrilled for Hannah. Unfortunately, due to her condition, she’s is no stranger to us here, but she’s a bright and bubbly character and it’s no surprise to us that she’s created such a vibrant and eye-catching identity.”