Double celebration for Bispham High School

Bispham High School are having a double celebration – with year 10 student Rachael Minnis being crowned the High Sheriff of Lancashire’s Young Citizen 2013. This follows on from another win for Natalie Markham the previous year – making it the first time students from the same school have won the award two years consecutively.

The winner and runners-up were selected by the High Sheriff and a panel of judges from Lancashire Partnership Against Crime (LANPAC), Lancashire Constabulary, BAE Systems and former High Sheriff Rodney Swarbrick, who initiated the award 14 years ago.

High Sheriff Ann Dean said: “Young people can sometimes get a bad press because, often, the majority are let down by the actions of a few. I am delighted to be able to reverse that trend by celebrating and promoting the achievements of young people instead, as the Young Citizen Award is a fantastic way to highlight the valuable contribution that young people make to the communities in which they live.”

Last year, Natalie Markham, who is now in Year 11 led the way by winning the coveted title for the fundraising and volunteer work she has done for school, as well as the help and care she gives to family members and friends. Natalie is the current Head Girl and is a positive role model for younger students to look up to.

This year, on 4th March 2014 Rachael Minnis was announced as the winner at a prestigious awards ceremony held at Lancashire Police Hutton HQ.

Rachael shaved her head, as well as other fundraising events to raise money for Trinity Hospice.

Supported by her parents, a close group of friends and staff at the school, Rachael spent months planning, preparing and fundraising; She went into classes and assemblies to talk to students about her plans, sold homemade cakes in school, held a non-uniform day at school, persuaded a dozen friends to give up their weekend to join her bag-packing at Sainsbury’s and walked up and down Blackpool Promenade with charity buckets with all the proceeds going to Trinity.

Alongside her own charitable efforts, Rachael has also inspired other students at the school to raise funds. In particular, one boy completed a sponsored silence and gave all of the money raised to ‘Rachael’s charity’.

The big day arrived on Friday 19 July last year when Rachael, along with lots of supporters, went into the hairdresser’s across from the school. The head shave was recorded and put on YouTube, and has since been viewed over 5,000 times.

Having already raised over £2,000, Rachael has no plans to stop fundraising, and is now looking at new ways to raise even more funds for Trinity Hospice, including spending the night in a haunted house or sky diving. Rachael also continues to volunteer her time at Trinity hospice by supporting and promoting events, working in the office and giving up her time to hand out leaflets and stuff envelopes.