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Rising Star Award for Inspirational QE Student

Date Posted: 11/05/2023 | Posted In: Latest news

An inspirational student who has gone ‘above and beyond’ to enhance the wellbeing of others at QE has received an award for her extensive volunteer work. Amelia Macmillan, from Thirsk, set up a Free Hygiene Scheme at the College to ensure all students had access to essential hygiene items. She also helped organise a dedicated Wellbeing Week with more than 45 activities to raise awareness and promote positive health and wellbeing among the 2,000-strong student body and over 180 staff. Her leadership work was recognised at Darlington Business Club’s recent Celebrating Women in Business Awards where she was awarded the Rising Star accolade. Nancy Wall, a teacher and Interact Club Co-ordinator at QE who nominated the 17 year old  for the award, said: ‘Amelia’s level of commitment to wellbeing has been outstanding; she has thrown herself into helping with college life. She leads by example and is always hands on.’

Amelia is studying Philosophy, Religion and Ethics, English literature, and Spanish at QE, as well as taking an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). She plays a lead role in the college Wellbeing Team and has produced and shared material to help educate students on areas such as managing stress and understanding eating disorders. During Wellbeing Week in March, she helped organise a timetable of up to ten different events each day, from mindful sewing, floristry and knitting sessions to focused talks on dementia, testicular cancer and mental health matters. The college hosted a wellbeing roadshow, carried out CPR training, arranged wheelchair rugby training sessions with professional club Newcastle Thunder, and offered body MOTs by appointment.

Amelia, who also wrote more than 200 positive affirmations to give to students and teachers on Blue Monday in January, said she loves the work she does for the Wellbeing Team. ‘Throughout the year, we’ve raised awareness of period poverty and ensured students have access to free sanitary products; we’ve produced hygiene packs for the homeless; and we’ve supported sexual health awareness,’ she enthused. ‘Our work also focuses on helping to understand and improve the mental health of those around us and I’ve completed the Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA) suicide awareness course to support that. I love helping people out, I don’t see it as something that’s a chore as I enjoy it. When I was presented with the award, I felt honoured and a little overwhelmed as I’ve never received recognition like this before. I’m grateful to Nancy for all her support and inspiration.’

Fellow QE students Hannah Malik, from Ingleby Barwick, Stockton, and Jessica Fairley, from Darlington, also attended the award ceremony having both been shortlisted in the Future Leader category. Aspiring human rights lawyer Hannah, 17, a second year student studying History, Politics, and Fine Art, collected the award for her work in setting up a group at QE to help highlight and celebrate cultural and ethnic diversity.

Tim Fisher, Principal of QE, said: ‘Hannah, Amelia and Jessica are shining examples of students who go above and beyond on a daily basis to support others at college and volunteer in their free time, around their studies. They are very deserving of the recognition they have received, and I’d like to thank them for the work they do here at QE.’