A big hearted teenager from Abergele has been honoured with a top award for the huge amount of voluntary work he does to help his local community.
James Richardson of Abergele won the Rotary Award at Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan’s glittering school award ceremony held at a packed Rhyl Pavilion.
The 14-year-old was joined on stage by Emma Gizzi, 16, of Abergele, who won the Val Cleaton Award for her special contribution to school life and James Hill, 15, who received the head teacher’s award for academic excellence.
Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan head teacher Lee Cummins says all three awards winners richly deserve their success.
He said: “The school awards are presented to learners who go that extra mile to ensuring the school and their local communities continue to improve.
“I congratulate all our winners who are a credit to their parents, their guardians and the school. The award ceremony is always a special occasion and I was thrilled to see so many learners, parents and family members in attendance.”
James Richardson, who has ambitions on becoming a computer game developer, says he was amazed to find he’d won the Rotary Award.
He said: “I was extremely surprised and my parents were exceptionally proud. I do enjoy fundraising challenges for various charities and the last one I did was the Comic Relief Swim Challenge. I raised more than £50, which was quite good.
“I also enjoy helping out at school on open days or evenings and I’m a school council member. I enjoy being at Ysgol Emrys al Iwan, it’s an excellent school and I feel everyone gets a voice and is listened to.”
Sixth former Emma Gizzi, who is studying drama, English language and design and technology, says she was thrilled to win the Val Cleaton Award.
Emma, who plans to audition for dance college once she concludes her A-level studies, said: “It was very, very unexpected but I was so grateful to be named as this year’s winner. I never knew Mrs Cleaton but from what I understand she was very committed to the school and always very polite, something I always try to be.
“My parents are so proud of me which is always a nice feeling. I just try to put everything I can into school life and try to help younger learners. I know how daunting it can be coming to a large school and finding your way in school life.”
Head Teacher’s Award winner, James Hill, 15, who wants to study performing arts and musical theatre once his GCSE and A-level studies are complete, said: “I was really surprised to hear I’d won this award. I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be honest.
“My parents were so proud and keep saying how amazing it is. The pressure is on now to ensure I don’t let things slip!
“I enjoy school life and believe we get the chance of a really good education here at Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan. The teachers are really good and the pupils are great. It’s always very friendly.”
Mr Cummins added: James Richardson won the Rotary award as he does so much community work whether it’s participating in sponsored charity events or helping out at school open evenings.
“Emma Gizzi won the Val Cleaton Award as she puts a huge amount of effort into everything she does in school. She is always smiling, happy and helping her peers, particularly the younger learners.
“James Hill won my head teacher’s award for his continued hard work, enthusiasm and dedication. He has worked exceptionally well to ensure he gets the right academic results while also developing as a pleasant mature young adult.”