What started off as a way to keep 10-year-old Bibi Murray busy last spring has turned into a dream come true for the Aberdeen youngster.
Bibi has always had a creative side – her family say she is “constantly salvaging stuff from the recycling pile” to fashion into one of her designs.
It was in the darkest days of the pandemic, with schools shut, that mum Kirsten told her about a competition being run by city jeweller Jamieson and Carry.
The challenge was to design a piece of jewellery to pay tribute to the health workers toiling around the clock as Covid spiralled out of control.
Now, almost a year-and-a-half later and with the fabled light at the end of the tunnel burning brighter than ever, Bibi’s necklace design has become a reality.
Tomorrow, it will be raffled off at the shop to raise money for the NHS.
Competition win has boosted youngster’s confidence
Bibi is now almost 12 and preparing to start secondary school at Portlethen Academy.
Mum Kirsten says winning the contest has given her shy daughter some added confidence at just the right time.
She said: “Bibi is very creative, that’s probably the thing she’s best at.
“She just sat down at the kitchen table and came up with this necklace.”
About six weeks later, Bibi was “delighted” when she was crowned the winner in the under-18 age group.
She recently visited the Union Street shop to see the finished article, and was told all about the painstaking process of crafting the twinkling trinket.
Her mum added: “She’s actually a really shy girl.
“When she went in the shop it was lovely of them to spend so much time with her, and introduce her to the person who made it. It gave her a real confidence boost.
“It’s the first time she has entered anything like this, let alone won.”
‘Captivated by the creativity’
Bibi was one of many people inspired to get involved in the Granite City jeweller’s charity drive.
Elaine Esson of Huntly designed the winning piece in the adult competition.
Both designs were passed to the family firm’s master jeweller, who spent months expertly crafting them in the store’s Union Street workshop.
Raffle tickets remain on sale today at a price of £5.
Angus Carry, partner of Jamieson and Carry, said: “The competition was our way of recognising the great efforts of our essential workers at a time of great uncertainty.
“We were captivated by the creativity and thought that went into the entries we received.”
Angus praised the “feel-good factor” of Bibi’s entry and praised Elaine’s “well-crafted, carefully planned design” with the “NHS at its core”.
He added: “The completion of these pieces offers further comfort that we have come through this together and can now look forward with hope.”
The designs were brought to life by Peter Reynolds, Jamieson and Carry’s master jeweller for more than 35 years.
Sheena Lonchay, operational manager for NHS Grampian Endowment Fund, said: “We are so grateful to all those who took part in the challenge to create something special and unique.
“All money raised from the challenge will go towards our Covid-19 Support Fund.”
Tickets to win Bibi’s design are available online, with a separate page for people looking to win Elaine’s entry.
The winners will be informed tomorrow.