Diana Award for Jemima but GCSEs first

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Tadcaster Grammar pupil Jemima Browning is one of only 20 young people across the world to be awarded the prestigious Diana Award but it’s GCSEs first.

The 16-year-old, who champions sport for people with disabilities, will collect her accolade being made to mark the 20th anniversary of Diana Princess of Wales from Princes William and Harry at St James’s Palace in London today.

But Headteacher Martyn Sibley said the outstanding young woman is due to sit her GCSE chemistry exam before heading to the awards.

““As a school, we realise that Jemima is a very special young lady,” said Mr Sibley.

“We are delighted that she is being recognised for all the work she has done. This is an incredibly prestigious award and Jemima is a worthy recipient.

“She works tirelessly, passionately and completely selflessly to raise the profile of disability sports and to give everyone an equal opportunity.”

He added: “It has been a pleasure to have been a small part of Jemima’s journey.

“She is committed to supporting an inclusive society and we have to remember that she has been able to balance all of this with school work and preparation for GCSE examinations, even sitting an examination in London on the day of the Award ceremony.

“Jemima is an inspiration to us all. We are extremely proud of all her achievements and congratulate her on receiving The Diana Legacy Award.”

The Diana Award was set up in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, and her belief that young people have the power to change the world for the better.

It is committed to fostering, inspiring and developing positive change in the lives of young people through practical social action.

Tessy Ojo, Chief Executive, The Diana Award said: “This is a landmark event for The Diana Award as we join The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry in celebrating the legacy of Diana, Princess of Wales in this 20th anniversary year.

“This ceremony is about two things; celebrating young people for their selfless contribution to society, their courage and bravery, sometimes in the face of adversity and demonstrating to young people that we, as a collective, value them.

“At The Diana Award we understand that valuing young people also means investing in them so we are delighted that these Legacy Award recipients will have access to our unique development programme that ensures they continue to be positive trailblazers for their generation.”

Jemima, from Stutton, has dedicated hours to improving the lives of young people with disabilities through her highly successful Stingrays Swimming Club, which she set up in 2015.

Inspired by her brother who has Down’s syndrome, Jemima is passionate about ensuring all young people with a disability are given access to opportunities to keep fit in a fun and stimulating environment.

In addition to the swimming club, Jemima also leads Project Unify in her school where she has been involved in securing funding to implement sporting activity.

She has also been appointed to the European Youth Activation Committee to represent the Special Olympics in Great Britain and travelled to Frankfurt to take part in her first Special Olympics Europe Eurasia Inclusive Youth Activation Committee.

Jemima, who has recently become a Wetherby News columnist, has aspirations for a career with a special needs/medical focus so she can continue to fulfil her passion for helping disabled young people.

Jemima told the News: “My brother is my inspiration.

“He has enriched my life and taught me so much about what it means to be disabled and how we should never put limits on what we think individuals can achieve.”