Neale-Wade students meet Princess Diana’s brother Earl Spencer at London awards ceremony

Students from left to right: Amber Freshwater, Grace Howe, Melody-Mae Vardon, Niomi Steer, Annalise

Students from left to right: Amber Freshwater, Grace Howe, Melody-Mae Vardon, Niomi Steer, Annalise Mitchell, Charlie Calvert, Amber Dobslaw and Billy Griffiths. Earl Spencer, middle - Credit: Archant

Eight students from Neale-Wade Academy, March, were honoured for their “fantastic community work” at the Diana Awards.

The awards recognise “courageous, caring, compassionate young people, transforming the lives of others.”

Students were presented with their awards, which were signed by David Cameron, by brother of Princess Diana, Earl Spencer.

Mr Spencer spoke movingly about Princess Diana, including how she cared for him when they were children and her commitment to empowering and supporting young people.

He was joined on stage by Rob Forkan, co-founder of footwear retailer, Gandy’s Flip-Flops. The company was created by Rob and his brother, Paul, after they were orphaned in the 2004 tsunami. The brothers formed Gandy’s Foundation as a result, supporting orphans around the world.

You may also want to watch:

Jason Wing, executive principal of Neale-Wade, said: “At Neale-Wade we are extremely proud of these students.

“The Diana Award will encourage them to continue their fantastic work and will hopefully inspire others to make a difference in the community.

Most Read

“All of the students are delighted to receive the awards in recognition of their work.”

The ceremony took place in Canary Wharf, London.

The students who received awards were:

Amber Dobslaw, aged 13, received the Courageous Citizen Award for “being a role model to others via her positivity about her abilities, and not letting anything hold her back. She consistently offered her time to support younger students by peer mentoring as part of Neale-Wade’s Hear2Listen (H2L) programme”.

Annalise Mitchell, aged 13, also received a Courageous Citizen Award, for “being determined to speak up for others who she feels are being treated unfairly and for not allowing anything to hold her back or dampen her enjoyment of life. She is a valued member of the H2L programme.”

Billy Griffiths, aged 14, received the Champion Volunteer Award, for “giving his time to support and help run a local youth centre and for representing young people on Youth Council, as well as being the voice of young people in care. He is also a peer mentor with the H2L group.”

Charlie Calvert, aged 14, also received the Champion Volunteer Award for “being an excellent role model within the local community as a police cadet. He regularly gives his time to support community events in this role. Charlie is also a peer mentor within school, giving good advice and guidance to our younger students.”

Melody Mae Vardon, aged 13, Grace Howe, aged 13, Amber Freshwater, aged 13, and Niomi Steer, aged 15, all received the Anti-Bullying Champion Award, as representatives of the H2L peer mentoring group. They have led fundraising events, anti-bullying awareness events and supported transition work with Year 6 students, presenting assemblies to alleviate any worries.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter