Students success in YOPEY contest

PUBLISHED: 11:29 28 April 2010 | UPDATED: 13:57 19 May 2010

The winning students with their prize money

The winning students with their prize money

AN inspirational group of students have picked up a £500 cash prize in recognition of a life-changing project they undertook for stroke victims. Meegan Marais, Gemma Sutcliffe, Tomas Read, Josh Crossman and Jack Gooding, sixth form students at The Merid

AN "inspirational" group of students have picked up a £500 cash prize in recognition of a life-changing project they undertook for stroke victims.

Meegan Marais, Gemma Sutcliffe, Tomas Read, Josh Crossman and Jack Gooding, sixth form students at The Meridian School in Royston, were named runners up in the Hertfordshire Young People of the Year awards (YOPEY) at an awards ceremony held at County Hall, Hertford.

The group were awarded a £500 prize, which they will share with the Royston Stroke Club, for whom they created communication passports, which are then given to members who have difficulties communicating.

As reported in The Crow earlier this year, the finished passports were the culmination of a two-year project which was part of the students' business studies course.

Meegan, 18, said: "It was a bit of a shock the first time when we went to the club.

"I did not realize how people could be affected by a stroke.

"I was amazed how happy we felt when we gave them the final version, and we know that they were grateful."

The judges, who included Assistant Chief Constable of Hertfordshire Chris Miller, North Hertfordshire District Council Chairman David Miller, and East Herts District Council Chairman Stan Bull, described the group as "an inspiration", "unbelieveable", "dedicated" and "amazing".

Assistant Ch Cons Miller said: "Their efforts have opened up the freedom of communication to people who desperately need it."

The prize money will be split equally, with £250 going to the stroke club and £50 each going to the students.

Scouts Hester Potterill and Mica Taylor from Melbourn were also rewarded at the ceremony.

They were part of a group of 15 Explorer Scouts who went to volunteer in African state Swaziland.

They will be putting their £100 prize money towards a sustainable bee sanctuary, which they plan to build on their next trip to the country.

In total 40 youngsters were given prizes at the YOPEY ceremony.

The awards aim to recognise the young people who make positive contributions to society and are positive role models for their peers.

For more information visit www.yopey.org

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