The SimplyBiz Group is delighted to be the sponsor of the Examiner Community Awards ‘Young Personality of the Year’ category. We are proud to celebrate the triumphs and achievements of young people in and around Huddersfield, some of whom have battled against enormous adversity to make a real difference to the local community.
It was an honour to posthumously recognise the inspirational and courageous young woman Carly Blackburn, who lost her fiercely-fought battle against cancer in March. In this image, Group Chairman Ken Davy presents the award to one of Carly's teachers from Moor End Academy, who made the nomination.
Carly Blackburn, of Crosland Moor, was diagnosed with cancerous throat tumours in November, 2017. She was a pupil at Moor End Academy, and had started her Year 11 studies a few months before.
By December, 2017, she was having lessons in hospital, and continued with these the following month despite gruelling sessions of both radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Following consultation with Huddersfield’s Greenhead College, where she had been given a sixth-form place, Moor End Academy advised her to cut the number of GCSEs she was taking from six to five to reduce pressure on her. But Carly refused.
Karen Hutley, assistant principal at Moor End Academy, said: “She was adamant that she would take six GCSEs. Carly was such a fighter and she never felt sorry for herself or gave up; she was a strong-willed young lady who knew exactly what she wanted in life and would not let anything (even cancer!) stand in her way.”
In the spring of last year, Carly was readmitted to hospital numerous times due to infections and was often unable to take part in hospital lessons as she was so unwell. But by the end of April, 2018, she had recovered enough to be taught in hospital and she was able to sit her six GCSEs at home in May and June.
Carly received her GCSE certificates at a presentation evening in November 2018. She had started her A-level studies at Greenhead College by then, but the cancer – which had been in remission – had spread. Her personal tutor at Greenhead College, Diane Beaven, said: “She made such a fantastic contribution and impression. Carly was very bright and intellectually curious, with a deep interest in her subjects. She was very committed; often attending college after gruelling treatments and demonstrated remarkable courage and resilience.
“She was incredibly popular amongst all of the staff and her peers; her lively sense of humour and nurturing of others was much appreciated. Carly taught us a lot, particularly about what is important and what an amazing gift life is. She was a star in every respect!”
The Group are delighted to congratulate last year's winner of the 'Young Personality of the Year' award, Maisie Catt.
Maisie had to have her legs amputated as a baby - one above the knee and one below - after her blood was poisoned by septicaemia, yet is now being tipped to represent the UK in the Paralympics just weeks after taking up the martial art of taekwondo.
After just three months’ training she was selected to join an elite training programme and is part of the GB taekwondo parapoomsae squad. She has even been contacted by the president of World Taekwondo who is based in South Korea and has personally praised Maisie for being such a wonderful role model for the sport.
Gary Kershaw, Compliance Director of The SimplyBiz Group, congratulates the winner and runners-up of the Young Personality of the Year Award 2017.