The final duty of the retiring High Sheriff of the Isle of Wight, Caroline Peel, was to hand out High Sheriff’s awards to 22 young people who, over the past year, have all shown compassion, cared for others and (in the words of Mrs Peel) have ‘not let Covid grind them down’. Unlike previous years, when awards have been given out at an evening event, Covid restrictions meant Mrs Peel had to meet winners individually or in small groups. A development which she said gave her more time to talk to winners and their families and hear more about the work they had done.
The list of winners appears below, with the organisation nominating them in brackets. One recipient wished to remain anonymous.
· Frankie Mulkern, age 9, from Brading (St. Blasius) – For being a wonderful role model to a new pupil who had additional problems.
· Poppie Faithfull, age 11, from Rookley (Arreton Primary) – For helping the isolating and elderly residents of her community by baking cakes and fundraising for Wessex Cancer Trust. She has applied to be a contestant on Junior Bake Off.
· Macie Edkins-Wherry, age 15, from Newport (Carisbrooke College) – Macie is an energetic young lady who has used her own earnings from her paper round to fund gifts for the lonely, shielding and vulnerable on the Pan estate and in care homes. Her fund-raising efforts have also produced £3,000 towards a mental health and wellbeing room at her school.
· Indigo Wyatt, age 19 (IW College/Ventnor Botanic Garden) – Indi has completed her apprenticeship course at the Botanic Garden. She worked throughout the lockdowns to maintain the garden whilst other gardeners were furloughed, and no volunteers were allowed into the garden.
· Rebekah Jude (IW College) – Beki has overcome huge challenges to become a positive, friendly and enthusiastic young woman who is busy undertaking work experience on campus.
· Christopher Jolly (IW College) – Despite having complex needs Christopher has overcome these and despite Covid has maintained his workload to a higher standard.
· Daniel Matthews (IW College) – Daniel has become an outstanding role model amongst his peer group. He has shown a maturity beyond his years and worked incredibly well during Covid.
· Liam Jackson, age 19 (Mersley Gardens) – Liam was on a 2-year placement at Mersley Gardens, excelling in motor mechanics. He is now awaiting an apprenticeship at one of the garages on the Island.
· Louis Holman (CECAMM) – Louis only moved to the Island a year ago He has immersed himself into all aspects of engineering and is already being offered apprenticeships.
· Thea Ricketts, age 11 (Mountbatten, Christ the King College) – Thea has raised over £10,000 for Mountbatten Hospice by participating in Walk the Wight. She has also made over 1,000 cakes as her initiative for Challenge 100. In addition, the family team has raised £4,000 for Alzheimers Café IOW.
· Solomon Wells, age 17 (Mountbatten, Christ the King College) – Solomon has been volunteering at the hospice since August 2020. He is a huge asset to the in-patient volunteer team and is thinking of pursuing a career in medicine.
· Harrison Burnett, age 20 (Mountbatten) – A qualified windsurfing instructor from UKSA, Harrison has been volunteering at the hospice since May 2020. He finds volunteering at the in-patient unit very rewarding, especially when patients’ own family and friends are unable to visit.
· Sarah McEvoy, age 24, from Shanklin (Wessex Cancer Care) – Sarah has been a willing and very helpful volunteer at the Wessex Cancer Care Centre for three years. She is also a young leader for the New Carnival Company in Ryde.
· Teagan Riston (Aspire) – Originally very shy, Teagan has developed into an assured and capable young woman, with a terrific community ethic and has been very much part of the Aspire team. Now working on a college course as well as continuing to support the lonely and isolated.
· Jess Way, age 16 (Ryde Academy) – Despite family tragedy Jess has coped incredibly well with her GCSE year and is a great support to her family and friends.
· Leo Bartlett, age 11 (Network Ryde, Ryde Academy) – Leo has not had an easy start, but thanks to the hard work of Network Ryde is beginning to show great leadership skills.
· Lili-Mae Lane from Ryde (Network Ryde) – Lili-Mae is a compassionate and caring young woman, who is an integral part of Network Ryde’s Management team. She is hoping to go to university and become a midwife.
· Lilly Pettit from Ryde (Network Ryde) – Lilly is a dynamo! She has moved up the ranks of her Duke of Edinburgh Challenge with flying colours. She hopes to become a barrister.
· Eloise Seaward from Newchurch (Motivational Preparation College for Training) – Eloise has flourished during her time at MPCT and hopes to do logistics in the Royal Navy. During lockdown she built a computer.
· Angel Passmore age 19 (HTP, Island Riding Centre) – Angel is now a respected and integral part of the Island Riding Centre team, passing her instructor’s exams with flying colours.
· Harry Barton (IW College) – A talented young man who has completed his college course in one year instead of two. Harry is off to study Business Studies at Winchester University.
Mrs Peel has now completed her year in office as the Island’s High Sherrif and has handed over the reins to James Attrill.
She said: “Despite the Covid restrictions I have thoroughly enjoyed it and felt very honoured to be asked.
“Thank you to all those who helped make my year what it was.”