Friday 14 January 2011

Victorinox Family Project

I just wanted to give you a quick heads-up about another competition which is being run by Victorinox called the Family Project – it is a really great scheme, looking for families who do good in the community, and there are only a couple of weeks left to enter so you'll have to get your skates on !


Victorinox, the manufacturer of the Original Swiss Army Knife are still searching for families for the latest initiative, Family Project, a worthwhile project aimed at families who propose a valuable, innovative project that benefits the local community. The project will see Victorinox donate £10,000 to the winning family, allowing them to fund their proposed project and idea.

One family already involved with the Victorinox Family Project competition are the Christies: Cedric, his wife Amelia and their children Poppy, Noah and Tallulah. The family, who live in London, heard about the competition through the House of Fairy Tales, a children’s project set up by artists Gavin Turk and Deborah Curtis. Excited by the concept, the family got together one day after the kids came home from school (with TV, mobile phones and computers switched off) to brainstorm ideas for their entry.

Cedric explains: “When I said Victorinox, my son Noah, who is 13, immediately recognised the name and said: ‘Oh, that's the maker of the Swiss army knife'. Using that as a base he came up with the first idea. Normally the family ticket for most attractions is for two adults and two children. Noah said: 'What if we invent a ticket with extensions for bigger families? A family like ours, with two adults and three children, could get the extension tickets. In the same way that the Victorinox Swiss army knife has multiple parts that extend, this ticket would extend.'”

Impressed by the idea, the family moved on to thinking about how they could create the tickets. Nine-year-old Tallulah suggested that the tickets be designed with dots on, then the extension tickets could have more dots to show how many extra family members had been added.

Poppy’s idea came about as the family started talking about bonding activities for families and communities. Inspired by their recent holiday to Croatia and how families travelling abroad would benefit from having easier journeys, Poppy, 15, suggested they create a Europe-wide family train ticket that could be used for multiple journeys across a year. The pass would eliminate airport stress and also be better for the environment. “It might take longer to get there, but the extra travel days would feel like an adventure, because the train journey would become part of the holiday. Also, if you were on the train with other families you could walk about and explore together,” Cedric explains.

With the ideas decided, Tallulah hopes the family’s suggestions are innovative enough to win the £10,000 prize. She says: “It was fun coming up with the ideas and thinking about what kids can do to help. If we win, I would make the family rail pass a golden ticket with tropical pictures on it, to show families that they can travel to cool places.”

Even if they are not successful, Cedric says his family had fun spending time together coming up with the suggestions. Plus, listening to his children talk about their adventurous ideas was a nice reminder of his own childhood. “[Having time to bond] is very important to me and I hope it’s a practice that my children carry on when they are parents themselves,” he adds.

The project is now in its last fortnight, with a closing date of January 31st, so there is still a bit of time for families to enter.

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