Our 2023 Winners
Congratulations to all of our 2023 winners! Your extraordinary acts of kindness and compassion have truly made a positive impact on the world around us. Through your selfless actions, you have shown that even the smallest gestures can create a ripple effect, transforming lives and fostering a more caring and inclusive society. Thank you for embodying the true spirit of kindness; may your efforts continue to touch countless lives in the years to come.
John Caudwell Community Kindness
Winner: Adrian King
Highly Commended: Amy Jackson & Freya Clowes
Winner: Michelle Nwolu
Highly Commended: Zhou Zheng
Highly Commended: Lucy Jones
Winner: Matthew King
Highly Commended: Margaret Murray
Highly Commended: St. George’s, Jersey
Challenge Star School
John Caudwell Community Kindness 2023 Winner: Adrian King
- Adrian King, Wyre forest special school
- Why Adrian was nominated: Adrian king helps his family to collect fresh food from costa and olio donators and sorts the food items takes photos and lists it online for free for local families to collect and take away this food would have gone to waste and to landfill so helping people and stopping waste . We take to the local Homestart families group pastries every week and got specialist diets this helps a lot as to expensive even when bad weather he still helps as knows it’s so important and people are hungry. He has built a strong local group for stopping food waste and is educating others on sharing food during the cost of living crisis and that asking for help is ok and feeding families and making friends while doing it is good and helps us all grow while filling fridges and peoples bellies and making sad people smile again.
John Caudwell Community Kindness 2023 Highly Commended: Amy Jackson & Freya Clowes
- Amy Jackson & Freya Clowes, Ormiston Horizon Academy
- Why Amy & Freya were nominated: Amy and Freya are the leaders of the OAT recognised award “WeWill Cook.” They have relentlessly led a team of 15 students for raise money and increase the charity work from the year group, to support the Lou Macari Foundation (Homeless Shelter.) Their efforts have contributed to raising over £200 in funds for the homeless shelter, and they have participated in and led cooking events where students in the academy have prepared and cooked food care parcels to present to the residents of the Macari Foundation. They have supported their local primary school (Packmoor Primary) in revamping their allotments, for them grow their own food and has spent over 40 hours since September doing charity work. They are true role models for the academy in being kind and supporting people who are less fortunate.
Star Pupil 2023 Winner:
- Michelle Nwolu, Woolwich Polytechnic School for Girls
- Why Michelle was nominated: Michelle’s friend Marion was very suddenly diagnosed with an advanced brain tumour last December. This was extremely traumatic for Marion and her family; she was rushed immediately to hospital and within 48 hours was undergoing brain surgery. She has subsequently undergone 4 surgeries and several rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She lost the ability to speak and walk, she lost all of her independence and is currently having physiotherapy to learn all of these things again. During the last 10 months, Michelle has kept in touch with Marion throughout her hospital stays, her treatments and has provided her with friendship and kindness. When Marion was in hospital and Michelle was not allowed to visit, she sent her messages, called her and when Marion was up to it, facetimed her, so that she felt that she was still part of the school community. Since being out of hospital, Michelle has continued to text, call or facetime Marion daily and at the weekend she goes to visit her at home. Due to her treatment and the lasting damage it has caused, Marion has changed a lot, she isn’t the same Marion that Michelle and her other friends knew. She has a developmental delay as well as her learning to speak and become independent again in her movement. Other friends visited Marion on her birthday (invited by her parents) and after seeing her they didn’t get in touch again. The school understand how difficult this is for young people and do not blame them but have included it to highlight that it did not phase Michelle. Michelle has treated her as a friend regardless of how Marion presents. She has given her time and space when she has needed it and has made her feel included when she can manage. Michelle has done all of this willingly and without being asked to. In fact, until this week, we didn’t know the extent to which Michelle had been in Marion’s life during this difficult time. When Marion visited us this week in school with her parents, she asked to see Michelle. We brought Michelle into the room at the end of an hour-long meeting just to say hello. This was the first time in the whole hour that Marion had been in school that we saw the real Marion, the cheeky personality that she had before came out as soon as she was with Michelle. Marion’s parents went on to tell us about what Michelle had done and how grateful they were for her patience, kindness and friendship for Marion. Michelle has been totally selfless and saw what she had done as ‘no big deal’. Yet Marion’s parents described as an ‘angel’ and said that they did not think Marion would have made the progress that she has without Michelle’s support. It was clear how close they had all become with Michelle calling them aunty and uncle and referring to Marion as her little sister. Marion lit up with Michelle by her side and feels that her support has been a vital part of her recovery and will continue to be moving forward. To add to this, Michelle is an outstanding role model to others in school, she keeps on top of and excels in all her work and is also a team leader in school for our prefect team. She has a maturity and understanding of responsibility beyond her years. She is reliable, approachable, patient and supportive of all. She has no idea we are nominating her for this award, and she would be embarrassed to know we are as she sees what she does as completely normal. We know that she is super special and goes above and beyond every day.
Star Pupil 2023 Highly Commended:
- Zhou Zheng, Ellesmere Port Catholic High School
- Why Zhou was nominated: According to his teachers Zhou is the most positive person they have ever met. Everyday he asks how they are, tells them to have a good weekend and helps out around the classroom without asking. The acts of kindness are small, regular and not unnoticed. He is losing his hearing but still smiles at every opportunity, gives people cards and chocolates when he thinks they need something to cheer them up. If he can’t afford a card, he will make one. He draws pictures on tests to brighten up marking and is a friend to all. The world would be a much darker place without him. Teachers have said he honestly makes them want to come to work each day. They say ‘When you see all the negativity in the world and experience challenging behaviour on a daily basis, it can get you down, but Zhou is always there to ask how you are, give you a smile and make a joke. Students flock to him because they know he will brighten their day. These acts of kindness are not big or flashy but are what is needed to improve someone’s day and Zhou does this for many people in our school community on a daily basis without recognition.
Star Pupil 2023 Highly Commended:
- Lucy Jones, Malbank School and Sixth Form College
- Why Lucy was nominated: Of her own volition, Lucy identified some concerns that she and her peer group had around toxic masculinity, misogyny, and the pervasive influence of Andrew Tate. She wrote a letter to the Headteacher and presented her concerns and suggested actions to SLT and then the whole school council. As a result of Lucy’s work – the following has been put in place: A working group comprised of the Head of PHSCE, the Head of Sixth Form/Student Voice/Careers, the Inclusion Mentor and the Head of Boys’ Achievement. Lucy has helped to write a SOW for PHSCE that will be delivered to her year group. She has also contributed to the staff training materials. 30/03 was out first shared meeting – we invited student representatives from SHSSFC to join us, with a view to creating a student leadership group that will empower local schools to work together on this and many other common issues (we anticipate that the first meeting will either be in the summer term of 2022/23 or the autumn of 2023/24)
Star Teacher 2023 Winner:
- Matthew King, Assistant Headteacher, Year 6
- A parent stated ‘I had my fingers and toes crossed that both my children would be taught by Mr King and I thank my lucky stars that they were! And who wouldn’t want their child to be taught by him? He is an exceptional teacher. He champions kindness and wellbeing. He makes learning fun. He genuinely cares for each child. And in return each child makes progress; feels seen, heard and valued.’
- Why Matthew was nominated: As the children enter their classroom each morning they are welcomed by him with a ‘high-5’, often followed by an inspiring, motivational speech or a funny anecdote to start their day so that they feel good about themselves and are ready, willing and able to give their best. He is passionate about promoting positive mental health and is the school’s mental health champion. It would not be unusual to see children in Year 6 mindfully colouring listening to soothing music with candles lit or a yoga session followed with a meditation taking place with cucumbers resting on their eyes! His efforts have been recognised by ‘ITV’s Britain Get Talking’ campaign through his class Twitter account which resulted in the children being on the ITV advert.
He has an intrinsic ability to turn a negative into a positive. For example; when the swimming squad were being defeated in every race, the children returned saying it was their best gala yet. He had the children chanting and cheering for one another and celebrating each position as well as they would have done if they had won the race. And the children loved it!
He also seeks opportunities for all to ensure that every child has their moment of recognition whether that be representing the school in a sporting event, visiting the elderly in the community or taking centre stage in a show. He inspires the children to be independent, confident, and to be proud of who they are. Each week during Star of Week, he celebrates two different children for their gifts and talents and insists upon each child receiving their own standing ovation. Even the shyest of pupils is transformed under his care. Whole school performances that involve his class – everyone enjoys.
Star Teacher 2023 Highly Commended : Margaret Murray
- Mrs Margaret Murray, Volunteer at East Boldon Infants School
- Why Margaret was nominated: Margaret is 80 years young and has volunteered for five years now – getting two buses to get to school too! She is the most kindest, selfless, caring person you could ever be fortunate to meet. Margaret runs a kindness club in our school and works with children from all year groups. She prepares amazing craft activities at home in her own time – she even has her friends helping. The crafts Margaret makes with the children are displayed on a kindness tree in the hall before they are then distributed into the community for members of the public to find. The items are labelled with a kindness label explaining how they have been hand made with love by the East Boldon Infants Kindness club. We’ve received lovely telephone calls, tweets and messages from people who have found the items and the acts of kindness have brought happiness to many. The children and Margaret go into the community and leave the different items hanging on fences, trees etc as random acts of kindness to cheer people up and to give something back to the community. Margaret is a valued member of our east Boldon family and is so committed to promoting kindness in school and in the community. She really is one in a million and the school would love for her care and dedication to be recognised. Not only have the community benefited from Margaret’s hard work but as a school they have noticed the benefit Margaret’s kindness club has had on all of our pupils and staff. There is a culture of kindness embedded across school and children show greater respect and tolerance towards each other. They understand and can show kindness towards others making school an even happier place to be. The children all want to attend kindness club and will often create their own art work and craft activities to hang on the kindness trees.
Star School 2023 Winner:
- Why Smallbrook Won: In 2018 the school created a pop-up shop in Telford that gave away free clothing and toiletries to the community. In June 2019 some of the children to work in the shop. The majority of our children are from care homes and foster care and the rest of the cohort are from local authorities due to behavioural needs. Since September 2019, they have successfully run about 15 shop openings with the children and every single one has been a huge success. Their aim each month is to help as many people from all backgrounds in the community. Their students have made them so proud as they spend their own time at home thinking of more ways in which to help the community they meet. The students have also given up their school holidays and worked to help the community. In the Easter holidays 2022, they were featured on BBC Midlands Today and the students were interviewed sharing their experiences. The school have now all got a new uniform and the children feel like they own a piece of Nu-2-u Telford. The impact has been huge. Every single student at Smallbrook School is offered a place at the shop, and so far, it has been a huge success. The children who have varied behavioural issues, mental health issues and learning disabilities, ask if they can come to the shop at weekends and school holidays, they approach staff with new ideas, they wear the Nu2u T-shirt with pride and they are always approaching staff with ideas for fundraising as the ‘giving’ bug has hit them. Around 40 students have attended shop in the past 3 years (it was closed for over a year due to COVID) and this figure is amazing considering the school only have around 40-45 students. In that time, they have given around 7000 items of clothing and toiletries. The feedback from the community is so positive too. The shop is based in a busy office building in Telford Town Centre, where the shop room and storage room are donated by Meeting Point House, the children make cakes for the staff.
Star School 2023 Highly Commended :
St. George’s Preparatory School, Jersey
- Why St.George’s is highly commended: One of the four, core school values at St. George’s is Kindness (alongside Resilience, Responsibility and Achievement) and kindness comes first, always. Kindness is something they focus on, encourage, model and reward throughout our whole school community.Pupils, teachers, support staff, families and friends of the school are all involved. They live by a set of ‘We Do Well When…’ mottos that include; ‘We are kind and gentle towards others’, ‘We treat everyone with kindness and respect’, ‘We treat everyone and everything with respect’ and ‘We are polite and courteous to all’.
They have also developed specific initiatives to really focus on what it means to be kind and to promote showing kindness both within and far beyond the school walls. Kindness Day: The day saw pupils all the way from Little Dragons Nursery (aged 2) to Form VI (age 10-11) spending their time completing fun and challenging activities designed by Form VI pupils to encourage and celebrate showing kindness and compassion to others and to themselves.
Pupils, teachers, support teams and families have identified where there is need, then connected with and supported diverse groups of people, animals and the environment. They’ve also worked hard to help pupils look after their own mental and physical wellbeing, knowing that when they are thriving, they are in the best position to help others. Children who are empathetic, honest, resilient and kind are likely to form part of happy, healthy, inclusive and supportive communities in the future. Their engagement in and with the community has taken many forms including: The Great St. George’s Rewilding Project, Protecting and Regenerating our Community Spaces, 70 Good Deeds ‘In Honour of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee’ &Spreading Kindness Far Beyond the School Walls
Challenge Star School 2023 Winner:
- Why Howells won this award: Howell’s School, Llandaff in Wales is an all-through school from ages 3-18. A few years ago, Howell’s started to make kindness a core part of its school ethos and has undertaken a number of activities since then to promote kindness.
They became a Kindness Ambassador School this year and have filled that time encouraging kindness through education and activities including:
- School assemblies on our kindness footprint
- Friendship weeks
- Random Acts of Kindness
- Charity events raising money for those in need
- Writing kindness cards
- A poster campaign promoting kindness
- Kindness Jars in classrooms with positive messages
- Older students helping younger students in kind ways
- A kindness display in the centre of the school
- And lot of anti-bullying work to challenge behaviour that is unkind