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Kindly Hannah Scoops County Honour


News: Kindly Hannah Scoops County Honour

Wednesday, 31st March 2004
(PR 1215)

GOOD works with fellow pupils have made Hannah Atkinson one of the top young people in Lancashire.

Hannah (14), of York Drive, Great Eccleston and a pupil at Cardinal Allen RC High School, Fleetwood, was presented with her prize as runner-up in Lancashire County Council's Young Person of the Year award at a ceremony in front of fellow pupils.

Her prize of £250 of JJB Sports vouchers and two return first-class train tickets to London was presented by County Councillor Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire County Council's Cabinet member for Children and Families.

Councillor Grunshaw said:

"It is a pleasure to be at Cardinal Allen RC High School today - and an even greater pleasure to be here to honour the good citizenship encouraged by the school.

"One pupil in particular has caught the public eye. She is Hannah Atkinson (14) whose caring nature impressed comedian Dave Spikey, Liberty X and judges from Lancashire County Council so much that they made her runner-up in the Lancashire Young Person of the Year award.

"The honour is Hannah's - and the schools. I have spoken to staff and they tell me that any number of pupils here deserve recognition in so many different ways.

"The award, organised by Vision, the county council's newspaper, attracted almost 70 entries from across Lancashire, so Hannah's award is outstanding.

"The Lancashire Young Person of the Year Award started with a discussion between senior county councillors who were concerned about the bad press that young people receive.

"Specifically, there had been an incident in the Preston area in which a teenager had rescued a younger child from a house-fire - and then refused the offer of a reward.

"It was that germ of an idea that led to the view that many people - not only the young - do good deeds on a daily basis for which they do not expect thanks.

"The Lancashire Young Person of the Year Award recognises that as the social side of public and private life and seeks to reward it.

"It is not about pretending that people are good citizens when they are bad. We sought real people doing real good deeds - and none was allowed to nominate himself or herself or canvass support.

"Hannah was runner-up, but could easily have been the winner.

"The honour, of course, also reflects on Hannah's family. Those who know Hannah well will know of the help she has offered her family since her father died two years ago.

"It was a difficult time for her family but Hannah excelled in supporting her mother. That is in her nature and she never sought to broadcast her support or seek public recognition. She helped quietly as she helps everyone.

"Hannah helps younger pupils, she helps teachers and she helps local families.

"Staff have told me of Hannah's work as a mentor to younger pupils who feel picked upon. Smaller incidents she will sort out herself with the alleged bully. She will refer larger incidents to staff. That takes a lot of responsibility.

"Staff also tell me of how Hannah helps with the smooth running of the school. She, with a number of other pupils, helps with paperwork, with filing and with running errands.

"Pupils have a strange relationship with teachers. It is often arms-length - but the good work of pupils is as important to a school as the good work of teachers.

"Out of school, Hannah is involved with helping Guides, Brownies and Rainbows and regularly babysits for local families.

"She does all this with a helpful and cheerful demeanour. It was reflected in the caring nature she showed to one of her teachers who needed help with her horses after she had undergone major surgery.

"Her help allowed her teacher to keep her horses and, I am told, cheered her up endlessly and helped her through her illness.

"They are qualities valued by Cardinal Allen and by Lancashire County Council. I am pleased to present Hannah with her prize of £250 of JJB Sports vouchers and two return first-class Virgin train tickets to London."

Notes for Editors

Editors' note: Interviews with Hannah can be arranged through the school on 01253 872659 or with Hannah's mother, Pauline, on 0777 850579.

For further information please contact: Neil Graham on 01772 531095


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