BAJ reveals winners of NHS competition

The British Academy of Jewellery (BAJ) has announced the winners of its Pins of Praise design competition, which was launched in support of NHS staff and volunteers as the pandemic unfolded. 

The competition was open to both BAJ students and the general public, and challenged participants to use CAD skills to design a brooch pin that will be sold to raise money for NHS Charities Together, the membership organisation  that supports over 250 NHS charities. 

The designs were judged by a panel of professional jewellers and NHS workers, who selected one winner from the external entries and three from the BAJ community. 

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Elisabeth Barton won the external design, while Caitlin Rawe, Jacqueline Chisholm and Kristina Lindsay were unveiled as the BAJ student winners. 

Barton’s design features two hands holding each other in the outline of a heart. She has 10 years of experience in the jewellery industry, and has run her own CAD design business since 2019 

Barton said: “After talking to my NHS family members about how they felt working through this time, the main words that they used were unity, community and togetherness.

“I felt the holding of hands was the best way to symbolise these words. Putting them in an outline of a heart shows the love and pride that we have for the NHS in the UK.” 

She said she was “pleased to see a jewellery competition that showcased CAD and 3D printing skills”, adding, “Although this new technology is widely used within the trade they don’t necessarily get recognised as a discipline within their own right.” 

Lindsay’s brooch, meanwhile, also uses hand imagery, while Rawe designed a beetle holding a heart aloft in its pincers. Chisholm combined a folded facemask with botanical elements. 

Pins of Praise competition judge Tim Haddon, an NHS paramedic working with the East Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “The entries were all amazing, with such a high standard of creativity – I loved that there was such a variety and range of ideas. They all had outstanding features so it was so hard to choose just three.”

 Kate Rieppel, head of academy at BAJ, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has been challenging for everyone, but the tireless efforts of frontline NHS workers and volunteers during this time are deserving of our utmost gratitude and respect.

“The Pins of Praise competition is BAJ’s way of thanking the members of the healthcare community for their hard work and sacrifice during the pandemic.”

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