DUNSFORD Community Academy pupil Arthur Massey, aged nine, received a prize from his local MP Mel Stride on Friday, for coming runner-up in the competition to design his 2021 Christmas Card. The Member of Parliament, who sends more than a thousand Christmas Cards each year to family, friends, colleagues and local organisations he has visited during the previous 12 months, made a personal visit to the school to award Arthur with a box of art supplies.

The competition for 2021 was open to the 43 primary schools in Central Devon and was sponsored by Crediton Coffee Company.

During his visit Mel joined the school for an assembly and spoke to pupils about Parliament and his role as an MP.

Arthur then came up to receive his prize.

Mel also caught up with teachers about the ongoing challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on education in Devon.

Mel’s visit to Dunsford was his third as an MP and the first since he welcomed pupils from the school to Westminster in 2019.

Mel said: ’One of the things I have missed most during the pandemic has been welcoming local schools to Westminster and trying to spark an interest in our democracy at an early age.

’However, I have continued to enjoy visiting local schools in a Covid-safe way and it was great to be back at Dunsford Community Academy, talking to pupils about Parliament and our democracy and to be able to award Arthur with his prize. His colourful drawing of a snowman was wonderful.’

The winner of Mel’s 2021 Christmas Card Competition was Chloe Rice, aged seven, from Hatherleigh Primary School and the other runner-up was Zak Harris, aged eight, from Newton St Cyres Primary School.

To save paper, Mel’s cards were sent electronically with the designs by Chloe, Zak and Arthur featuring on the card. The drawings can be seen at

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