South Fylde Rotary Respect Awards

Over 70 pupils received Respect Awards at the event at AKS Lytham.

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A five-year-old who saved her father’s life and a 14-year-old who spent a night out on the streets of Blackpool to raise funds for the homeless were among 35 individual pupils to receive Rotary Respect Awards from Deputy Lt for Lancashire David Cam last week.

The event at AKS Lytham, was organised by Mrs Geraldine Singleton on behalf of the three South Fylde Rotary Clubs of Kirkham, Lytham and St Annes, with sponsorship from local companies and was open to all schools across the Fylde Borough Council area.

The audience of over 250 parents, pupils and teachers heard how Clifton Primary School pupil Jessica Smith saved her dad's life when he collapsed during the night. She kept calm, called her grandparents for help and dropped the house keys from the first floor to them, all the while caring for her baby sister.

In addition to being nominated for a Respect Award by her school, Jessica also received a special award for courage made by Captain Adam Diver from Weeton Barracks, one of the event's judges.

AKS pupil Grace Elston spent the night on Blackpool streets with her father and brother to raise £2000 for Blackpool Streetlife.

Other young people to receive certificates and W.H. Smith vouchers for use for their schools, included those supporting fellow pupils or family members in need of help and raising funds for various charities, both at home and abroad - reflecting aspects of the Rotary ethos.

In addition to the individuals, eight teams of pupils received awards, including a whole family - the Williams - from Ansdell Primary and the Vent Team from AKS Lytham who support younger pupils with any problems and have launched a positive image campaign. The trio of Emily Hayden, Niamh Crean and Hafsa Naeem, also provided excellent assistance in the organisation on awards night.

Another special award was made by Cllr John and Mrs Geraldine Singleton to 18-year-old Emily Clifford of Kirkham Grammar School, who took her A levels whilst working through the loss of her mother and raising funds for the Rosemere Cancer Foundation.

Now in its second year the event is rapidly gathering momentum, entries having increased by a third.

In addition to Captain Diver and Cllr Singleton the judges were Dr Judith Poole of Blackpool and Fylde College, and Ailsa Pemberton of Pemberton’s Farm Shop, Lytham.

President of Lytham Rotary who worked in harmony with the Presidents of Kirkham Allan Wilman and St Annes, Matthew Whilley, summed up the night’s activities saying: “It was a most uplifting evening which provided the opportunity to acknowledge and recognise the kindness and support to others that our local children demonstrate on a daily basis.”

Fylde BC Chief Executive Allan Oldfield said: ‘The Respect Awards shine a light on the fantastic positive attitude and selfless acts of young people across the Fylde community who make a real difference to the lives of others, I am delighted that the Rotary Club have the foresight and passion to recognise the importance of encouraging the great potential of youth’.

 And former AKS pupil Sara Dewhurst, another of the event sponsors, said: “The Respect Awards give amazing children a huge boost to their self-esteem and the recognition they deserve.  Sandgrown Spirits is immensely proud to sponsor such an important event”

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