Winning student presents Baby Box to MEPs in Brussels

Date posted

21 June 2017


Last updated

19 March 2020

An Edinburgh Napier student whose illustrations will grace Scotland’s first Baby Box has been showcasing her design at a special event at the European Parliament in Brussels.

Graphic design student Leanne Young’s winning design – which features a forest scene complete with Highland cows, squirrels and the Loch Ness Monster – was selected from more than 70 entries for the initiative which will see every new born baby in Scotland gifted a box of essential items from 15 August 2017.

And as preparations for the national roll-out of the box continues to gather momentum, Leanne was part of a Scottish group that presented the box at a recent event entitled ‘Investing in Children – an equal start for every child’ held within the European Parliament in Brussels.

Accompanied by Joe Griffin, deputy director, children and families at Scottish Government, Leanne presented her design to Finnish MEP Miapetra Kumpula and Tuomas Kurttila, Finland’s ombudsman for children. She was invited to present by Scottish MEP Catherine Stihler.

For more than 80 years, expectant mothers in Finland have been given a Baby Box that serves as a starter kit for their new baby. It has acted as the main inspiration behind the Scottish version of the scheme. Its primary focus is to improve child health and to tackle infant mortality. 
Leanne's work unveiled at the European Parliament
Leanne said: “The chance to go to the European Parliament in Brussels and present my design and rationale was a fantastic opportunity – little did I think that when I entered the competition last year that I would end up there!

“To hear feedback from people involved with other Baby Box schemes across Europe was incredibly beneficial and I was delighted to hear that they approved of my design for Scotland’s own Baby Box.

“Entering this competition has opened so many doors for myself and allowed me to meet so many new people. The support from V&A Dundee and the Scottish Government has been fantastic and I can’t thank them enough.”

As part of her winning prize, Leanne will receive mentoring from leading Scottish designers Holly Fulton and Scott Jarvie. She is due to link-up with Holly for her first session next month in London as she exhibits her final year project at the D&AD New Blood Festival in the city. She also will link-up with Scott for the first time in advance of the festival.

Leanne added: “I’m really looking forward to beginning my mentoring with Holly next month. I have been a fan of Holly’s bold and vibrant graphics that she uses in her textiles and clothes for some time so to gain an insight into her work and her success will be invaluable.

“I’m due to begin my mentoring with Scott in preparation for New Blood which is really exciting too. He’s been extremely helpful and flexible with him time already which has been a massive help.

“I will graduate next week from Edinburgh Napier so this extra support has come at exactly the right time for me. I am looking forward to what the future holds.”

Photos copyright of European Union 2017.
Learn more about Leanne's winning design...