TWO awards for ‘outstanding community service’ were among the accolades given out at Saddleworth School presentation evenings last month.
Esha Ahmed and Melissa Demsteader where chosen this year to receive the Philip Renold Award for Outstanding Community Service on the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award Scheme.
The late Philip Renold was an inspirational teacher at Saddleworth School for 12 years from the mid 1970s.
With a passion for helping children developing their self-reliance, he introduced the D of E scheme there and quickly developed it into the largest scheme in Oldham.
Richard Knowles, school governor, highlighted some of the pupils’ achievements through the course that earned them the prestigious award.
He explained: “Esha’s community service is as a young leader for the Cubs at 6th Oldham Scouts, leading sessions on teamwork, fire safety, disability awareness, and on athletics, outdoor challenge and pioneering activity badges.
“She helps leaders with checks and safety and risk assessment before undertaking hikes.
‘6th Oldham is a Muslim Scout group and Esha is helping to improve the image of her local community by fostering young people’s motivation and enthusiasm to collaborate and team work and share practices to become good community citizens.
“Melissa’s community service is as a Youth councillor for Oldham for nearly three years, elected by young people.
“Youth councillors need to show qualities such as grit, determination and passion, be impartial, and blossom surrounded by people of different perspectives.
“Melissa has helped raise money, including doing a 5K race for life, to fund programmes including Dynamix Community Cohesion Project in schools, Engaging Libraries, Mahdlo; and charities.”
Also commended this year are Lucy Johnson and Ketan Sloan.
The D of E award scheme started in 1956 and now operates in 144 countries at bronze, silver and gold levels. It involves four parts – volunteering in community service, developing practical and social skills, physical improvement in sport, dance or fitness, and planning, training and completing an expedition.
Meanwhile, Saddleworth School held annual presentation evenings for its various year groups and recent Year 11 leavers.
Prizes and certificates were awarded to recognize achievement and effort in academic subjects, as well as sport, music, arts and other areas of school life beyond learning.
There was also recognition for numerous pupils who face difficulties and challenges but go the extra mile to achieve.
Entertainment was provided by pupils and there were videos showing highlights of the year, including events, successes and charity events.