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Matthew Burns

Sedbergh wins two awards at ISOTY 2019

Sedbergh School has become the Independent School of the Year for Community Outreach. Meanwhile, one of its pupils won the Rising Star award at the Independent School of the Year awards 2019.

“We are delighted and very proud on behalf of our pupils to receive the Community Outreach award.” Said Dan Harrison, Headmaster. “In the last year, we have tripled the number of pupil hours invested in the community and quadrupled the number of pupils working on these projects. Everyone benefits from this scheme – our pupils gain satisfaction from their work and learn the importance of contributing to society.” explained Mr Harrison.

Sedbergh School runs numerous community outreach projects throughout the academic year which include local conservation projects within the Yorkshire Dales National Park and every week, 50 pupils provide voluntary service across a wide range of local services.

In December 2018, the inaugural ‘Sedbergh Gives Back’ campaign began with pupils giving up a full day to work for a chosen charity. Most recently, pupils have started to work with a local charity to help rehabilitated criminals work towards gaining their English and Maths GCSE qualifications.

Recipient of the Rising Star award is Henry Ackroyd.

Henry joined Sedbergh School in September 2014 and in January 2015, whilst out on a school run, he suffered a major heart attack. He received CPR for over 45 minutes before being flown to Middlesbrough Hospital.

Henry suffered serious brain damage as a result of lack of oxygen and the prognosis for his long-term recovery was poor. After major corrective heart surgery, the department for Paediatric Neurology in Leeds thought he would never walk or talk again, let alone read or progress in full-time education.

After just one term away from School, Henry returned to Sedbergh as a full-time boarding pupil with ambitions of playing competitive sport again for Sedbergh. Eighteen months later, Henry stepped back onto the rugby field.His recovery and physical rehabilitation led Henry to discover a love for athletics and sprinting. He is now an aspiring para-athlete and a member of the Para Development Academy with his eyes set on the 2024 Paralympics in Paris. Henry left Sedbergh in Summer 2019, with a full BTEC in Sport and Exercise Science and an EPQ qualification for his assignment on hypoxic brain injury recovery. He has gone on to study Sport Development at Leeds Beckett University.

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