12 July 2018
One of the greatest joys in life lies in meeting new people. In hearing their stories, particularly when you hear of the extraordinary lengths people go to to help others. From inspirational teachers to fundraisers, volunteers and children spending their time caring for others.
Yesterday was one such occasion. Sitting in our new auditorium, surrounded by schools, projects and community groups from across Greater Manchester, I was overwhelmed to hear their stories. From Declan McEntee of Declan’s Decathlon, who raised more than £14,000; to the Inspirational Teacher, Will at Dean Trust Ardwick.
It was also wonderful to see five-year-old Amelia Carroll take the stage to accept The Young Bravery Award. Amelia and her brother, Ollie, have Battens Disease – a fatal genetic disease. As such, Amelia was told that by the time she reached her age she wouldn’t be able to walk or communicate.
However, a couple of months ago, Amelia ran the children’s Great Manchester run, over a distance of 1.5km, to raise awareness for Ollie’s Army and Battens Disease. What an incredible young lady!
We were also honoured to recognise Manchester High School for Girls as the School of the Year, providing a new Raspberry Pi Café as the prize, and to award Abraham Moss Warriors with the Sports Initiative of the Year.
We heard stories of young people moving to Manchester barely knowing a word of English and rebuilding their life, of people attacked but ensuring they did all they could to stop others from facing the same torment, and of a young man with complex needs running the Great Manchester 10k to raise money for charity.
It really was an honour to be in such extraordinary company.
When you look at the situations faced by our winners, the challenges they’ve overcome and the inspiration they give to others, it is hard not to be moved.
Thank you to everyone who came along to UKFast Campus to celebrate with us yesterday.