Haslingden High School is an institution that I’ve had the pleasure of working with for nearly three years now, and on the evening of 16th July, I was asked to attend their annual Citizenship Awards ceremony. This very special event honours the outstanding achievements of students and staff, celebrating the great community work that they have done in school and beyond.
In total, the school received over 300 individual nominations, and on the night 32 awards were presented to deserving students and members of staff for their outstanding contributions. It was an incredibly humbling occasion and I was very moved to hear the stories of personal sacrifices that young people make to support friends, family and the local community.
I was asked to present an award to Ben Lord. Ben is 12 years old, and three years ago he was cleared of a very rare form of cancer called Hodgkin lymphoma. After going though such a traumatic and incredibly challenging time in his life, his family asked him how he would like to celebrate. Ben asked if they could celebrate with a party, but not just any kind of party – he wanted a fundraising party.
He felt he wanted to give something back to the hospital where he was treated and to show his appreciation to the Manchester Children’s Hospital. Ben now organises the fundraising events all by himself (with a little help from Haslingden Cricket Club), organising raffles and shaking his bucket to raise funds.
Over £6200 raised
Ben has set himself a target of raising £10,000 by 2017, which will be when he has been clear of cancer for five years. So far, he has raised over £6200. His next fundraiser is during the summer at Haslignden Cricket Club in August.
His story is an incredible one and I have nothing but the utmost admiration for his strength and determination that he has to make a positive impact in the community. To help Ben raise money, Jigsaw24 donated an iPod Nano to add to his raffle prizes; we hope it helps him on his way to achieving his target for such a worthy cause.
This was just one of many stories told during the evening and a heartfelt congratulations goes out to everyone who was nominated and awarded on the evening. I want to thank Haslingden High School for inviting me to present the award and to play a very small part in such an outstanding event. I also want to send a special thanks to Kate Sieg-Hogg (Head of Health, Food and Child Studies) who organised the proceedings and invited me to the event.
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