BTHA Special Recognition Award

The British Toy & Hobby Association Special Recognition Award recognises individuals and/or organisations for their longstanding dedication and employment within the UK toy industry.  The award is made based on long-service, loyalty and contribution.  Recipients must still be active within the UK toy industry. The award can be awarded posthumously.

Nominations must have a proposer and a seconder and should be submitted in writing to The Director General of the BTHA. Nominations must be ratified that they meet the appropriate criteria above by the Awards Committee. A written statement summarising the prospective candidate’s achievements and suitability will need to be composed, with nominations completed on the official form below.

2024 Recipient – Simon Hedge

The BTHA is proud to have presented a posthumous Special Recognition Award to Simon Hedge.  Simon sadly passed away on 20th June 2023.

The first such award was presented to Simon’s family at a special reception during Toy Fair 2024 where Simon’s loyalty, dedication and passion for the toy business were celebrated. Simon’s family received a newly commissioned trophy from the BTHA, presented to them by chairman Simon Pilkington.

Simon was remembered fondly by all those who attended, which included previous team members, colleagues, friends and close family members who were alongside him during his long career. Simon was a team player who built loyal, motivated, happy and dedicated teams throughout the years.

During a career which spanned nearly three decades, Simon worked for some well-known companies and with some tremendous people, from Hasbro and K’Nex to Flair, where he started his career as commercial director before eventually becoming managing director. In over 20 years at Flair, Simon was a driving force in many ground-breaking moves by the company and revived an illustrious list of brands from Plasticine and Shopkins to Sylvanian Families and Thomas Wooden Railway, and created many others like Paper FX and Comic maker.

BTHA chairman Simon Pilkington said: “On behalf of the British Toy & Hobby Association, I am immensely proud that we have been able to present this award to Simon’s family. Simon gave so much to this industry in so many ways, and today we acknowledge the great contribution he made to the toy industry during his long career. Simon is the first recipient of the new BTHA Special Recognition Award, and a very deserving and fitting winner of this inaugural presentation.”