UNISON Northern Ireland

Art Competition

Exploring, through the visual arts, what a free, nutritious school meal means to children and young people. 


What is the competition? 

The ‘All We Need is Lunch’ Art Competition has been launched by UNISON, the public service union, to highlight the benefits of nutritional, free school meals for all children in NI. The competition is open to all children and young people up to the age of 19*.

Update: The competition is now closed and we are currently collating all the entries to send to an independent panel of judges to select the winning art work.

How do I get involved? 

UNISON is encouraging parents, schools, youth clubs and other childcare settings to engage with children and young people and to support them to use the visual arts (a drawing, a painting, a poster, a photograph or a collage) to explore what school meals mean to them.

For example, the young artists could be asked to create visual artwork that communicates, through images, the ideas they get or the emotions they feel when they think about the following:

  • What is their favourite thing about school meals?

  • Why is nutritious and healthy food important?

  • Why do they think school meals should be free?

Fantastic prizes to be won for artists and their schools / youth organisations

There are 44 fantastic prizes to be won by the winning artists and their supporting schools / youth organisations in each of the categories - 8yrs and under, 9yrs to 11yrs, 12yrs to 14yrs and 15yrs to 19yrs*.

In each of the four age categories, the winning artists will each receive gift vouchers worth between £50 and £500.

  • 1st place artist in each category = £500 gift voucher

  • 2nd place = £250 gift voucher 

  • 3rd place = £100 gift voucher 

  • Five additional artists in each category will each receive gift vouchers worth £50 for their 'great effort'

  • The winning artwork will also be showcased in an Art Gallery

In each of the four age categories, the supporting schools or youth organisations that facilitated a top 3 winning entry will be awarded educational materials of their choice worth between £250 and £1000.

  • 1st place artist in each category = £1000 for the supporting school or organisation

  • 2nd place = £500 

  • 3rd place = £250

By entering the competition you agree to your art being posted on UNISON social media sites and used in related campaigns. Full terms and conditions here.

How do I enter the competition?

To enter the competition, click the button below: 

Or alternatively take a photo of your artwork and email UNISON a high resolution image/photograph of the art masterpiece to campaignsni@unison.co.uk or post the entry to Art Competition, UNISON, Galway House, 165 York Street, Belfast, BT15 1AL. When submitting the entry, make sure to include the artist’s name and age as well as the name and address of the supporting parent, guardian, school, or organisation. Please also make sure to retain the original artwork for further use and publicity if you win! By entering the competition you agree to your entry being posted on UNISON social media sites and used in related campaigns. 

There is no limit on the number of entries an individual or organisation can submit.

Full details of the UNISON Free School Meals for All Campaign can be found at https://www.unison-ni.org.uk/free-school-meals-for-all

The competition is now closed and winners have been notified.  

*Entries will only be accepted from 19yr old artists if the young person has been assessed as having a special educational need or has not yet entered 3rd level education. All artists must currently study in NI.


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Ideas for Primary 1 - Primary 4 Children - Local Artist Therese Gorman (Made in partnership with Community Arts Partnership)