Students get full marks for showing good citizenship

FUNDRAISING DUO: Gemma Marsh and Edward Russell have been nominated for this year's award.
FUNDRAISING DUO: Gemma Marsh and Edward Russell have been nominated for this year's award.

Sudbury pupils Gemma Marsh and Edward Russell are celebrating being top of the class when it comes to being good citizens.

The thoughtful pair, from Ormiston Sudbury Academy, have been nominated for the Sudbury Rotary Young Citizen Award 2014.

Teacher Adrian Starkey put the students forward for the award – supported by the Free Press – because of their outstanding charity work.

Gemma, 14, started fundraising at the age of eight for a church charity.

Mr Starkey said: “At the age of 11, Gemma participated in a sponsored swim for her life-saving club, providing valuable funds.

“The money raised was used to increase the number of children who were able to access a learn-to-swim programme.”

Gemma has also made best use of her culinary skills by baking to raise money for Comic Relief.

Mr Starkey added: “At Ormiston, Gemma has continued her fundraising, contributing to the Ormiston Children and Families Trust and raising more than £400 by baking and selling cakes for Children in Need.

“The amount of work that this has involved should not be underestimated. Like so many people who work so tirelessly for charitable events, Gemma seldom speaks of the time needed to achieve such results.

“For her most recent cake sale, she had been baking each evening for approximately five hours and at weekends.”

Eighteen-year-old Edward Russell is another student who is keen to help others.

Mr Starkey said: “Edward played a fundamental role in ensuring that the shoe box appeal was such a success.

“He launched the event to students at assemblies, and he kept the appeal going by returning to outline progress. The appeal was a tremendous success with 136 shoe boxes collected.”

Nominations for the award closed on Friday and an awards ceremony will be held at The Quay Theatre in Sudbury on March 12.

Now in its sixth year, the awards were set up to recognise the achievements of young people under 25 whose contribution to the community should be recognised and celebrated.