Fenland School nominates 20 pupils for Young People of the Year awards

A FENLAND school has nominated some 20 pupils for the Young People of the Year awards in Cambridgeshire. Awards founder Tony Gearing, a former national newspaper journalist fed up with the bad press young people receive, visited Neale-Wade Community Col

A FENLAND school has nominated some 20 pupils for the Young People of the Year awards in Cambridgeshire.

Awards founder Tony Gearing, a former national newspaper journalist fed up with the 'bad press' young people receive, visited Neale-Wade Community College in March last week to boost the awards.

When he left he had a briefcase filled with nominations by teachers and students for pupils who are 'positive role models' and 'give to others'.

The teenagers are now in the running for �2,000 in cash prizes put up by Spicers, the Cambridgeshire-based office products supplier, and other sponsors including Cambridgeshire Police and the Cambridge Building Society.

Some of the contenders in the awards, which Prime Minister Gordon Brown describes as "a wonderful celebration of Britain's youth" are featured on this page.

Mr Gearing said: "These stories only scratch the surface of good work going on by community-minded young people at Neale-Wade, in and out of school.

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"They deserve recognition to counter all the bad press we read about an anti-social minority among the younger generation."

The very best will be going on to an awards ceremony at The Imperial War Museum, Duxford, in October where the winners of the �2,000 will be announced.

Neale-Wade principal Tim Hitch said: "These are only a fraction of the tremendous students who attend Neale-Wade.

"We are justly proud of them all and I am sure that it will be very hard for the judges to decide upon the eventual winners."

* TWINS Jade and Natasha Stimson, 14, of Wisbech, abseiled down the Woolworths building in Peterborough to raise money for Kidney Research UK, because their mum Violet has kidney failure.

Violet will be receiving a kidney from her father in an operation at Leicester Hospital, for which the twins did a whip-round at a family party and raised another �500.

* TOM Searle, 16, of March, had himself cling-filmed to a lamp-post for a school day to raise more than �400 to decorate the school for this year's prom.

Tom, who is also on the school parliament and has volunteered at the Scope charity shop in March, said: "Although it seems quite frivolous, it made the prom better for everyone.

"I was pleased but exhausted. It was unbelievably tiring standing up all day."


* LAYLA Tomsett, 16, of March, is manager of the school's 'That Eco Thing' environmental group. The seven-strong group tends allotments at Neale-Wade and sells its produce.

Layla manages the money and volunteers, and led a presentation to teachers on schools of the future growing their own produce.

Her nominator, teacher Janice Holdich, said: "Without Layla the group would not have happened."

Layla, who is in the sixth-form and wants to be a barrister, said: "I like getting my hands dirty and doing something to make the school greener."

* SOPHIE Bower, 15, of March, helps to run activities for seven to 10-year-old girls at the 4th March Brownies in their meetings at Trinity Church each week.

Sophie has been a Brownie and Guide and is now a Ranger.

"I enjoyed it a lot and I want the girls to get the same experience I did," she said.

* WILL Piper, 17, of March, is 6ft 7in tall and plays basketball for Fenland Falcons and East of England.

He was nominated for passing on his skills to younger pupils. He has coached basketball to other young people at school and in town up to twice a week.

"It gives me an outstanding thrill to be able to pass on my experience," he said.


* CHARLIE-JEAN Manders, 16, of March, helps out at Young People March, where her mum Jane is a manager.

She has been going along since she was 10 years old and now helps to run the junior section for seven to 11 year olds.

Charlie-Jean, who is also vice-chairman of the Fenzone Youth Council, said: "I really enjoy it."

Her mum Jayne said: "She takes on more each year."


*Do you know a young person who goes that extra mile to help others and deserves recognition and the chance to win a cash prize?

Nominees must be aged 10-25; live, study, or work in Cambridgeshire; and give to others in this country or abroad.

To nominate visit www.yopey.org or write to Young People of the Year, PO Box 103, Hare Street, Ware, SG9 OXD, enclosing an SAE for an entry form. Young people can nominate themselves.

Entries close on September 1.