Inspirational women help pupils win prizes

The North Regional Fundraising Manager for Oxfam is came up to hand out the prizes for the Morpeth International Women's Day Competition at Morpeth's Chantry Middle School and seen at the school are (left to right-back two) David Hewitt from OXFAM, Emma Scott from Little Bundles and (front two pupils) Ruaridh Lang  (11) from Newminster Middle School and Emily Caisley (12) from Chantry Middle School.
The North Regional Fundraising Manager for Oxfam is came up to hand out the prizes for the Morpeth International Women's Day Competition at Morpeth's Chantry Middle School and seen at the school are (left to right-back two) David Hewitt from OXFAM, Emma Scott from Little Bundles and (front two pupils) Ruaridh Lang (11) from Newminster Middle School and Emily Caisley (12) from Chantry Middle School.

FROM famous faces to family heroes, two Morpeth schools chose the women they really admire to mark a national event.

As part of International Women’s Day, students from all year groups at Chantry and Newminster Middle Schools entered a competition based on a woman who inspires them.

They had to explain their choice, with the contest divided into two age categories. A total of 28 entries were put through to the final stage.

A judging panel of Relish Publications Director Teresa Peters, author Stephanie Butland and Alison Chatto, Head of Business Development at competition sponsor Simpson Millar Solicitors, used a points system to determine the winners.

Ruaridh Lang from Newminster, whose entry was Lance Corporal Kylie Watson, was successful in the Years 5 and 6 section and Chantry pupil Emily Caisley was victorious in the Years 7 and 8 category. She chose Deborah Clasper.

The main organiser of the contest was Emma Scott, who also put together an activity-packed event and raffle in aid of Oxfam UK with support from La Bodega owner April Atkinson and Elizabeth Killoran, owner of event planning business Whistles and Bells.

Mrs Scott said: “Many of the entries were very emotional ones about family members or women they know and the others also had a good story to tell about how they have been inspired by women who have received national and international coverage for their brave actions or charity work.

“I was one of the people who had to select the finalists and it was a very difficult task because so many were of a high standard.

“Congratulations to the two winners, who both received a £50 voucher for WH Smith.”

Chantry and Newminster Executive Headteacher Paul Lawrence was impressed with all the entries.

“The quality of their descriptions was outstanding for their age and this exercise has helped to give our young people a clearer understanding of some of the world’s more complex issues,” he said.

“It will also encourage them to think that they can be whatever they want to be if they continue to work hard.”

The event raised £1,300 for Oxfam GB and the two schools have agreed to hold a non-uniform day, which it is hoped will take the total past £2,000.

Its success means that it will now be held each year.

Oxfam GB Regional Fundraising Manager David Hewitt said: “To my knowledge, this was the biggest event we had in the region.

“The three organisers did a great job of engaging Morpeth’s businesses and bring the wider community together. For example, it was pleasing to see the Mayor and his wife at the fundraiser.

“Their drive and creativity was fantastic and I took plenty of notes, which I will pass on to my colleagues at Oxfam to help us plan similar events in the future.

“As for the schools competition, I was impressed with the quality of the entries. The students put a lot of thought into what they wrote.”