Teenager’s multilingual banner for St Leonards

Competition winner Sharn Lewis with her multi-language banner
Competition winner Sharn Lewis with her multi-language banner

A SCHOOLGIRL has designed a banner welcoming people to St Leonards in a host of foreign languages after being inspired by readers’ letters in the Observer.

Sharn Lewis, who is 13 and attends Helenswood School, went into the shops and businesses around Kings Road, Norman Road and other streets in central St Leonards to find out how they greeted people in their own language.

The banner now has ‘Welcome to St Leonards’ written in more than 50 tongues - with more yet to be added.

Sharn also won first prize in the 12 to 18-year-old category for her banner in an arts competition at the recent Garden of Delights event at St Leonards Gardens.

Sharn said: “I was inspired to do this after reading letters in the Observer from people who had written in saying there wasn’t a sign that said Welcome to St Leonards”.

The 10ft by 3ft banner is on display by Christ Church Parish Centre in London Road, St Leonards.

Sharn designed a similar banner in December last year to bring Christmas cheer to the ethnic communities of St Leonards by wishing them the compliments of the season in their own language.

Her father Kevin, of Pevensey Road, St Leonards, who helped her make both banners, said: “There are more than 100 languages spoken in St Leonards. There is a lot happening in town but it seems to be centred on Hastings so Sharn advertised the Garden of Delights event on her latest banner, as well as the beach party.”