Mendes impressed by Sheffield schoolboy

Lewis Kilner of Wales High School
Lewis Kilner of Wales High School
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His caring nature coupled with a spark of ingenuity made Lewis Kilner stand out among hundreds of entrants in a national competition.

The 12-year old Wales High School pupil put in hours of work to come up with an invention designed to transform the life of his mum, Sarah Kilner, who has a disabling condition.

In the first ever Imagination Awards, launched by the West End production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Lewis created his design for Supreme Robo-Legs.

Judges including director Sam Mendes shortlisted his entry to the final 10 and Lewis could now win prizes including a VIP trip to London.

Lewis told the judges: “Supreme Robo­legs would be great for my mum and help her mobility. My mum has Ehlers­ Danlos Syndrome which meant that she lost much of the use of her legs. Supreme Robo­legs would change my mum’s life.”

His invention would allow his mum to follow her dreams and go on holiday without pain, added Lewis. The Kiveton Park youngster helps his mum in many ways, by doing housework and going food shopping with her.

His teacher, Gareth Hughes, said: “We are very proud of Lewis and his entry demonstrated his caring nature. While others designed robots to work for them by making pizzas and suchlike, Lewis didn’t think of himself at all, and his entry stood out.”

Young inventors aged five to 15 were asked to find a solution to a problem in the world around them. Winners of three categories will be announced soon.

“The whole school was buzzing about Lewis,” added Mr Hughes. “But when we spoke to his parents they had no idea about it. Lewis hadn’t said a word...”

The musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is showing at London’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, with tickets on sale up to 2017.