Young Citizen Awards presented by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Judith Chapman
The Rotary Club of Leeds recently celebrated its 100th year anniversary, 1916-2016, and held its annual Young Citizen Awards at the Civic Hall, Leeds with the winners being presented with their chosen books by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Judith Chapman. St. Mary's Sixth Form Students Anna Munroe, Mairenn Collins (Year 13), Frances Jezzard and Matthew Farmer (Year 12) were nominated for their outstanding contributions to the local and world communities in their 'service above self'.
Anna who is a Youth Leader at Guiseley Baptist Church, spent her summer holiday (2015) working in an orphanage in Zenica, a city in central Bosnia and Herzegovina. Fund raising activities included car washes, a Valentine’s meal, a promise auction and personal funding from part time jobs. Anna managed to raise £1,500 with this money contributing not only to the practicality of the trip, but allowing her to physically give to the people she was helping in generic and personal ways.
Mairenn led fundraising for the Bambisanani Partnership at St. Mary’s over the last six years; organising art, jewellery and bun sales, events such as concerts and TV screenings, Oxfam-unwrapped style gifts and yearly donations. This has sponsored Simphiwe Ndlovu (an AIDS orphan who attended St. Mary’s partner school, Mnyakanya in South Africa) into university, paid for equipment such as stationery and textbooks at the school.
Mairenn then independently travelled on to Cape Town, where she volunteered with the Warehouse project, sorting out donations of clothing or blankets which were then distributed to people in townships whose few possessions had been damaged or destroyed, often from fires. Mairenn met mothers who had nothing but newspaper to bring their new-borns home in, and made some receiving blankets whilst there. Since arriving home Mairenn has sourced and bought over 50 meters of fabric, and involved pupils and teachers from school in making more than a hundred blankets which she plans to send out to the maternity ward.
Frances and Matthew were awarded for their contribution to the work of the St. Vincent de Paul Society in the community of St. Joseph's, Pudsey. They have helped at a Senior Citizens' Christmas party with elderly citizens who are house bound; led an Advent workshop (arts and Crafts) for Primary school children; Matthew has coached Badminton each week, Frances has assisted in Liturgy with younger pupils. Each year Frances and Matthew organise a Toy Appeal at Christmas and Egg Collection at Easter for children less fortunate than themselves.
St. Mary's School community are extremely proud of the work and achievements of Anna, Mairenn, Frances and Matthew and recognises that these students are a reflection of a great number of others students who work tirelessly to give back to their communities and put others' needs before their own. They are a credit to the Sixth Form and to the wider community.