Saffron Walden pupils pull together for Essex Police Yopey awards

PUBLISHED: 13:31 19 February 2010 | UPDATED: 22:10 31 May 2010

Andre Young Picture: SUBMITTED

Andre Young Picture: SUBMITTED

SOLIDARITY shown by Saffron Walden County High School following the death of a pupil has seen its sixth form shortlisted for a prestigious award. The older year groups of the school have been nominated for a Young People of the Year Award (Yopey) for pul

SOLIDARITY shown by Saffron Walden County High School following the death of a pupil has seen its sixth form shortlisted for a prestigious award.

The older year groups of the school have been nominated for a Young People of the Year Award (Yopey) for "pulling together" in the wake of Andre Young's death.

The teenager died suddenly while on holiday in Cyprus in August 2009. He had been described as "a talented and diligent student" and was loved by fellow students and staff.

"His death came like a hammer blow," said Jacqui Smith, assistant director of the school's sixth form who nominated the group.

"Despite having more than 500 students the sixth-form is a close-knit family and the loss was deeply felt.

"But after the grieving they picked themselves up and set to supporting a memorial fund for Andre, the suitably named Loving Life Legacy, while bringing the shattered sixth-form back together.

"At Saffron Walden County High we try to develop a sense of community and that community has come through during some dreadful times."

The students held many events to raise money and profile for the legacy, including a James Bond-themed Casino evening, Walden¹s Got Talent, the X-mas Factor and a Shooting Stars show, as well as a Christmas party for senior citizens.

Ms Smith added: "Everyone deserves the nomination."

The sixth form is now in with a chance of winning the £1000 top prize from a prize pot of £2300 put up by Essex Police and other sponsors, including Runwood Homes for the elderly.

Second place will win £500, third £250 and there will be a Junior Yopey winning £250. There will also be several £50 runners-up prizes.

The Essex Police Yopey - which looks to recognise positive role models in the younger generation - is in its third year.

There are only a few days left to nominate inspirational young people for the award. Nominees should be aged 10 to 25, and should live, work or study in Essex.

Logon to www.yopey.org to find out more. The contest closes to entries Sunday February 21.

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