ARTISTIC youngster Ashley McLoughlin found himself in the limelight when his colourful poster was chosen as the winner in a competition which aims to boost International Women's Week.
The eight-year-old pupil at St Peter's School, Accrington, was one of 100 local schoolchildren who took part in the competition organised by Hyndburn Women's Forum.
The entries were then whittled down to 20 finalists whose posters illustrated the theme of the special week, which aims to encourage women to try their hand at a new art, craft or hobby.
Ashley's colourful poster of a woman sitting at an easel testing her skills at painting was picked out by judges Jane Birtwell from Blackburn design agency D & A W, artist and illustrator Clare Highton and Margaret Cheesbrough, deputy editor of the Observer.
It has now been made into the official International Women's Week poster for display all around the borough and a framed copy and artist's set was presented to Ashley by the Mayor of Hyndburn, Coun-cillor Mrs Sandra Hayes, at the Haworth Art Gallery on Saturday. Certificates were presented to the 20 runners-up.
A host of activities are on offer on International Women's Day itself, Saturday 8 March, from 10am to 3pm at the New Era Centre in Accrington.
Women are invited to have fun at a number of skills to discover their potential, including soft hat making, creating their own beauty products, pyrographics - the art of wood-burning, henna hand-painting, ceramics and creative icing.
Learn Direct will be running cyber-space sessions, there will be gym instructors on hand to help with keep-fit routines and a free vegetarian meal will be served. A crèche will also be provided but only for pre-school children.
Events will also be held throughout the week at Clayton-le-Moors Youth and Community Centre and Hyndburn Christian Stable.
Students at the Globe Centre's Graduates salon on Scaitcliffe Street, Accrington, will be offering blow waves, shampoos and sets and conditioning treatments "on the house" on the Thursday and Friday, although treatments must be booked in advance.
Sue Skellings, chair of Hynd-burn Women's Forum, said: "It is a way of saying thank-you to women who work hard throughout the year for their family and community. It's a bit like Mothers' Day by women, for women."
Anyone wanting further details can contact Sue at the Women's Centre on 583032.