St Albans and Harpenden schoolchildren nominated for Young Person of the Year Award

St Albans & Harpenden Review: Matthew Riding Matthew Riding

Three schoolchildren from the St Albans and Harpenden area have been nominated for the Mitsubishi Young People of the Year Award.

The winner will have the chance to win a cash prize out of a total of £2,000 to be given away to young people like them who go the extra mile to help others in their local community, further afield, or abroad.

Hannah Berry, 16, was nominated by Rebecca Way, her PE Teacher at Roundwood Park School in Harpenden because of her overwhelming committment to pushing forward the school’s sports agenda.

In her role as a Young Sporting Ambassador she planned, organised and led workshops and festivals for Roundwood¹s sports leaders, passing on her experience and knowledge, helping improve their leadership skills.

She has also been instrumental in getting funding for the school through the Leadership Partner School Network for £500 towards school sports.

She says that volunteering and coaching year 7 "was the perfect way to pay back everything the school had given me".

Miss Way said: “Hannah has truly been a wonderful asset to the life of Roundwood Park School. She has been and will continue to be a wonderful role model.”

Hannah, of Bettespol Meadows in Redbourn, takes on this raft of responsibilities whilst as a year 11, is also sitting her GSCE exams. She says that during her GSCEs she will be "juggling homework and her clubs”.

St Columba’s College pupil Theo Gollins, 12 has been nominated by staff at the only independent Catholic boys school for 4-18 year olds in the country, who say that as his tender age he is already a role model.

Theo raises money for charity through organising special events. In October he organised an overnight charity sleep-out on school premises. Twenty two pupils took part and raised around £500.

This money was then donated to Centre 33, a St Albans homeless shelter. Theo said : “I really do like doing the charity efforts and helping others. It’s amazing to be nominated and to be recognised.”

He has the chance to win a cash prize out of a total of £2,000 to be given away to young people like him who go the extra mile to help others in their local community, further afield, or abroad.

Steve Jones, who is the college assistant deputy head in charge of pastoral programmes said: “Although others have been involved in some events Theo is excellent at encouraging his peers to get involved. He is a very dynamic young man.”

Matthew Riding has been described as exceptional and inspirational and is regarded as ‘top of the class’ when it comes to helping others in school or outside of it.

The fifteen year old St Albans pupil counts helping students with Maths as part of his abilities, created websites to help with projects and exam preparations, is an ace at helping youngsters at tennis and has even earned green credentials by planting trees.

Matthew has been nominated by Ed Coy who is the head of year 10 at Sandringham School. He said: “Matthew is an outstanding young person with an infectious personality. He is an inspiration to staff and his peers.”

A keen musician, who plays the piano and trombone, Matthew helps out at junior choir each week, giving one-to-one tuition.

Matthew’s artistic talents have even led to him painting pictures of staff from the school.

He began volunteering as part of a Duke of Edinborough scheme and continued to do so afterwards. Matthew said: “I find it rewarding to help other pupils, particularly if they feel the benefit of it.”

The YOPEY contest was created by former national newspaper journalist Tony Gearing, to give younger generations a fairer image and encourage young people to give to the community.

YOPEY is searching for young heroes in and around Hertfordhsire and the Herts Young Person of the Year will win £800, with £400 for themselves and £400 for their good cause.

To nominate a young person for YOPEY, logon on to yopey.org or write to YOPEY, PO Box 236, Newmarket CB8 1DP for a paper entry form.

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