Yorkshire students’ award-winning product to support young people facing death of a parent

A product designed by students at Heckmondwike Grammar School, which won the Design Museum’s national competition for schools, is to be added to a Yorkshire charity’s memory and treasure boxes to support young people facing the death of a parent or loved one from motor neurone disease.

The Nick Smith Foundation and MND Association’s boxes, launched in 2020, have helped dozens of children across the UK with activities for families to help gather special memories and treasured information so that moments and thoughts can be stored and captured for the future.

The charity was inspired by the students ‘Grow Wild’ product, a canon launcher for wildflower seeds, and have invested in the product which will be added to the boxes.

It will allow recipients to have the opportunity to share the memory of launching the seeds as a family, watching the flowers grow and seeing the wild bees it aims to encourage visit the gardens and fields where they were launched.

‘Grow Wild’ was designed by students Alice, Emily, Hannah and Naomi and won Design Ventura 2020. It has now been developed into a retail product and is available online at the Design Museum’s shop.

Set up in memory of Nick Smith, who died from the disease in 2017 aged 38, the charity has raised over £150,000 to support research into motor neurone disease and help children who are facing the death of a parent.

Stephen Naylor, chair of The Nick Smith Foundation, said:

“Heckmondwike Grammar School has been a supporter of our work for some time so when their design students won the national award with such an inspirational and relevant product including it in our memory and treasure boxes was an easy decision.

“The beautiful Grow Wild seed canon will be used by families facing the death of a loved one from motor neurone disease to create memories that can be captured, and the flowers that emerge will be a reminder of the moment they were created.

“Thank you to Alice, Emily, Hannah and Naomi for their work creating the product and we hope they’re proud of the difference their creation will make to other young people facing the worst possible news.”