10th April 1998 at 01:00

Smudge, the National Canine Defence League's cartoon education mascot, is challenging children aged five to 16 (in three age groups), to design a poster which will make people consider the serious responsibilities of dog ownership. Closing date: May 1. First prize is a midweek trip to Disneyland Paris and there is a special prize for school group entries to create a huge mural under the supervision of artist Gordana Bjelic-Rados (and her dog). Details in Junior Wag!, the NCDL's free children's magazine, available from: 0171 837 0006 ext. 656.


The Essex County Show is asking schools in the region to produce a collage (60x60cms) using natural materials such as dried plants, leaves, seeds and nuts on the theme "On the farm". Closing date for applications: May 1. All entries will be displayed at the Show from June 18-21. Prizes for age groups seven to 11 and 12 to 16 will be awarded on the final day. Details: 01245 362412.


Commercial Union invites local authorities, schools and voluntary organisations to enter projects, by May 1, which draw the community together and help to prevent crime. Nine regional prizes of pound;1,000 and a trophy are on offer and the chance to win about pound;7,000 representing the UK in the European Awards. Details: CU Awards, Crime Concern, PO Box 1374, Swindon SN1 1TL; Website:


St John Ambulance is inviting nominations by May 8 for this award given annually to young people aged 11 to 16 who have used first aid skills - learned at school through the Young Lifesaver Scheme or the Three Cross Award Scheme - to assist people in real emergencies. Application forms from: Sue Warner, 0171 235 5231.

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