A SCHOOLGIRL has beaten thousands of other entrants to create a coin inspired by her home town.

Sophie Doa, 11, from Southend, went up against 6,000 other youngsters to have her design made into a £10 coin at the Royal Mint.

The pupil of St Mary’s Prittlewell Church of England Primary School designed a simple picture of a lighthouse by the sea on one side and two aeroplanes with smoke trails creating the letter ‘S’ on the other.

Sophie said she got her inspiration from looking at the town around her.

She said: “I was quite shocked that I won. I have lived here all my life and I live really near the seafront.”

She won several prizes including a Nintendo DS games console, an art book, £1,000 for her school, other commemorative and collectable coins as well as having 200 coins minted in her own design.

The coins, made of nickel, will be kept at the school and given out as prizes for other youngsters in the future.

Sophie and her mum also visited the Bank of England as part of the My Money, My Community competition which was run by the Personal Finance Education Group – a charity that aims to teach children about finances.

Her mum, Lydia Doa, a teaching assistant at St Mary’s, said: “I am a proud mum. It is a really nice way for her to end her time at primary school by taking this away with her.

“It was a piece of homework they had to do and we heard nothing about it. I had forgotten about it, then they sent an e-mail to her teacher.”

Sophie presented one of the minted coins to Southend Mayor Ann Holland who came to meet her at the school.

Mrs Holland said: “I just think it is fantastic.

“ To think it is a national competition – the school and the family must be so proud of her.”