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Awards For Courage : Inspiring young people are recognised

Four of the six award-winners, from left, James Metcalfe, Ellie Roberts, Elliott Watson and Hannah Watts. Brittany Lager and Laura McGinley were unable to attend.
Four of the six award-winners, from left, James Metcalfe, Ellie Roberts, Elliott Watson and Hannah Watts. Brittany Lager and Laura McGinley were unable to attend.

Six inspiring young people were in the spotlight at the annual Awards For Courage event organised by the Rotary Clubs of Newark and Newark Castle at Newark Showground on Monday.

The president of Newark Rotary Club, Mrs Rita Crowe, said this type of community event was important to Rotary and was replicated across the UK and the world.

“Our intention is to continue to involve the schools and colleges and recognise the achievements of pupils in overcoming challenges and the perseverance and determination shown by some of young people,” she said.

The president-elect of Newark Castle Rotary Club, Mrs Caroline Rossin, saidnot all publicity about today’s youth was positive.

“So it is heartening to celebrate the courage shown by these six young people here today,” she said.

Mrs Rossin hoped the awards would continue for many yearsand that in future they could widen the catchment area to reward even more youngsters.

The awards were presented by the district governor-elect, Mr Michael Longdon.

He said there were often complaints that young people were not as well behaved today compared with the past and about them being on street corners or drinking in parks.

“You would definitely be the most hard-hearted person not to be moved by today’s awards of courage,” he said.

“These young people have shown dedication, determination and courage by the bucket load.”

Guests included the chairman of Newark and Sherwood District Council, Mr Tony Roberts; the Mayor of Newark, Mr Dean Hyde; and the Advertiser editor, Mr Chris Prime. 

Ellie Roberts

Ellie Roberts.
Ellie Roberts.

Twelve-year-old Ellie Roberts, of Coddington, was praised for the way she helps look after her younger sister, Bethany.

Ellie (left) a pupil at Sir William Robertson Academy, Welbourn, was selected for an award because she is exceptionally caring and hard-working.

Her sister has a rare illness and Ellie helps her mother, Claire Humble, ensure Bethany is looked after, often helping with her care through the night.

Head of house Mrs Elizabeth Brewin said Ellie was a ray of sunshine and always smiling.

“She shows so much resilience and is an inspiration to us all. She is amazing. Her smile never goes off her face,” MrsBrewin said.

 Ellie said she was very happy to receive the award.

James Metcalfe

James Metcalfe.
James Metcalfe.

A 14-year-old diagnosed with chronic fatigue four years ago was described as being brilliant and inspirational.

James Metcalfe, 14 a pupil at Newark Academy has a reduced timetable because his condition means the amount of time he can attend is restricted.

Mrs Glenis Willis, specialeducational needs co-ordinator, said he was making good progress and got on with whatever was thrown at him.

“He is such a wonderful young man. He is truly courageous and brilliant, an inspirational child,” she said.

James said: “I am proud to receive the award.”

Hannah Watts

Hannah Watts.
Hannah Watts.

An 18-year-old who has developed into a mature, positive young woman at the Orchard School, Newark, received one of the awards.

Hannah Watts (pictured below) has been a pupil at the school since 2014.

Teacher Mrs Kate Fell said Hannah’s learning disability meant that she had found it challenging to keep up with the pace of mainstream school, but since joining the Orchard School her confidence had grown.

“She is a caring, young woman, very supportive and loyal to her friends,” Mrs Fell said.

“She is a pleasure to be around.”

Hannah is planning to continue with her studies at Newark College.

“We are all incredibly proud of Hannah’s progress on her journey,” Mrs Fell said.

Elliott Watson

Elliott Watson.
Elliott Watson.

A pupil who works hard in all his lessons and strives to please his teachers was nominated by the Magnus Church of England Academy for an award.

Elliott Watson, 14 (left) has moderate learning difficulties and global development delay.

He struggles with speech, language and communication and has hypoplasia and microcephaly.

The head of year, Miss Tracey Butterfield, said despite his problems Elliott had a 100% attendance, a massive amount of positive points and no negatives.

“He is always pleased when anybody does well and has a good relationship with his form tutor,” she said.

Elliott said he was proud to receive the award. 

Laura McGinley

Laura McGinley, 15, of Tuxford Academy, who was unable to attend the ceremony, was nominated for her perseverance and hard work, despite being in constant pain because of a neck injury caused by an ice-skating accident when she was six.

Her form tutor, Mrs Marion Brown who received the award on her behalf, said Laura was often in lots of pain and was on six different tablets to help.

“Her perseverance and discretion has been admired since she joined Tuxford Academy,” she said.

Brittany Lager

Brittany Lager, a student at the Newark Campus of Lincoln College, was unable to attend the awards ceremony. She was nominated for her determination, positivity and hard work dealing with Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

The condition attacks part of the peripheral nervous system affecting mobility and resulting in loss of muscle and strength.

She had to spend more than two months in hospital and, although her recuperation has been long and challenging, she has made a full recovery. 

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