Saturday 3 April 2021

Belatedly marking the (Heroes of the ) Pandemic, Royal Mail stamp issue for 2022.

 Royal Mail Press Release

Heroes of the pandemic

Competition to design set of Special Stamps begins

We’re marking the important role played by key and frontline workers – such as ourselves – through the coronavirus pandemic, with a competition for UK schoolchildren to design a set of Special Stamps.

Launched today by Royal Mail and Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Heroes of the Pandemic gives children, aged 4 to 14, the chance to design official stamps to make up a final set of eight to be announced in the autumn. 

The closing date for entries is Friday 28 May, after which 120 regional finalists will be selected before a shortlist of 24 are chosen. A select panel of judges will pick the winning eight. The winning stamps will be available in the spring of 2022 where they will appear on millions of items of mail across the UK.

Only four times in our history have designs created by children been used in stamps – in 1966, 1981, 2013 and for our 2017 Christmas stamps.

‘We are so excited to launch this competition and give eight UK schoolchildren the opportunity to use their own creative flair to celebrate the heroes who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic,’ said CEO Simon Thompson.

‘Over the past year there have been so many wonderful examples of people who, despite much uncertainty and fear, have continued about their work with such admirable determination and pride.

‘They have helped us cope during what has been an extremely testing time. I look forward to seeing the winning stamp designs.’

The Prime Minister added: ‘The last year has been one of the most difficult any of us can remember, but throughout it all our Covid heroes have been there for us, inspired us and done so much for others.

‘From our family members, teachers, doctors and nurses to our vaccine scientists and fundraisers, we want to recognise and remember them.

‘That’s why we’re launching a special competition with Royal Mail for children across the country to design a new stamp collection featuring their Covid heroes – so we can honour their tremendous work.’

Schools, and parents/guardians of home-schooled children, can sign-up to the competition online or by returning the application form in a pack sent to them by iChild, the online educational resource centre, in association with Royal Mail. 

Applications for the 6,000 available resource packs will be sent out on a first-come, first served basis.


Well there's something to look forward to for all the collectors who have formed Covid-related thematic collections.  I don't suppose it will be the last stamp issue on the subject but it will come two years after the first, which was issued by Iran in March 2020.  

Iran Coronavirus Stamp March 2020


"And don't forget to include a postman in your heroes, children", seems to be the line one message.  Nobody can deny that postal workers have been at the forefront, whether delivering our messages or our online shopping parcels, or handling all the NHS test kits and appointment letters, but ..... was this just in case anybody forgot?  If the same suggestion is included in the resource pack then there are bound to be a lot of designs depicting the postie - I wonder how many will have the current uniform and how many will look like Postman Pat?

No indication as to whether this will be a set of 2nd class, 1st class, or mixed - surely they will all be the same value?

Wouldn't this have been a good project to have during home-/remote-learning last year?  

Update: I checked with a collector in the North Toronto SC, who I know has made a detailed thematic collection, and she replied as follows:

By my count, there have been 67 "official" Covid-19 issues up to the Zimbabwe and Jordan issues, meaning the postal agencies intended it to be a Covid-19 issue (through messaging, donation, etc). I have counted each set as a single issue.

There have also been about a dozen more "tangential" issues where the issue is commemorating another occasion but has pandemic-related imaging, e.g. the Philippines Christmas and Valentines Day stamps, Saudi Hajj and World Post Day issues, etc.

So, there are plenty to choose from if you do want to make a collection, but some of the earlier issues might be difficult to find. 


  1. Just read this online, has to be the March or April release, more like the latter, as March 16 marks the 150th Anniversary of the FA Cup, surely there will be stamps to mark that occasion otherwise RM are missing out on a good thing.

  2. With "Only four times in our history have designs created by children been used in stamps – in 1966, 1981, 2013 and for our 2017 Christmas stamps" Royal Mail is forgetting their four 1992 Protection of the Environment stamps.


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