The three young people who received this year’s Bill Hewetson Young Citizen Awards were outstanding examples of the best of British youth.
At a dinner given by Rotary in Harpenden at Aldwickbury Park Golf Club, Ruby Schlayer-Westbrook, Aidan Freeman and Olivia Brown, accompanied by their parents and representatives of their sponsors, each received a certificate and a cash award from Rotary in Harpenden president Val Beale.
The award recognises special service to others within the community in keeping with the spirit of Rotary International’s Service above Self.
A former police cadet and a scout, Ruby has helped provide entertainment at a local care home, worked on reducing litter in Batford and helped set up Project Rainbow to raise awareness of the needs of the LGBT community.
At her school, Roundwood Park, which nominated her for the award, she has taught communication and public speaking skills and involved herself in internet safety and anti-bullying. She was a judge at a student-run Diversity Day, founded and ran the school’s debate club and mentored dyslexic students.
Aidan was nominated by the Harpenden and Wheathampstead District Scouts, which he joined as a Beaver and is now a very active member of the Harpenden Explorer Scout Unit. Working towards his Young Leader belt he attends training modules and helps to lead the 4th Harpenden cubs.
He joined the Army Cadet Corps in 2015 and is already a corporal. Qualified to instruct cadets, he plans meetings, runs lessons and leads a detachment on exercises. He is also part of the Cadet in the Community Programme and a member of the Corps of Drums.
At home Aidan assists his father to care for his mother who has Multiple Sclerosis. She is nearly blind, cannot walk and needs help with eating.
At her school, Sir John Lawes, Olivia Brown’s devotion to raising awareness of young people’s mental health issues has earned her a national Diana Award. She is deputy head girl and a peer mentor and raised over £3,000 to take part in a World Challenge expedition.
Outside, her two years as a member of the Harpenden Town Youth Council has developed her interest in politics. She stood for election to the Herts Youth Parliament and is now an active member of Hitchin and Harpenden CLP, serving for a year as their Youth Officer. She works each week in a local credit union and makes deliveries for a food bank.
Bill Hewetson, after whom the award is named, was a long time member of Harpenden Village Rotary Club, actively involved in the area of Rotary and Harpenden Youth. Funded by his family and Club members the award acknowledges his valued contribution. The family were represented at the dinner by Bill’s son, Richard, and grand-daughter Emma.
With group photo:
Caption: Rotary in Harpenden President Val Beale with the award-winning trio of, from the left, Aidan Freeman, Ruby Schlayer-Westbrook and Olivia Brown
By roaring to victory in this year’s Harpenden Quiz of Quizzes the Harpenden Lions Club have notched up 10 wins in the 23 years of the event, organised by Rotary in Harpenden. This success enhances the Lions’ position as the town’s foremost quiz team.
Close behind them came Measure for Measure, winners in 2014, with All Saints Church taking third place. Thirty-four teams competed in the event, held in St George’s School hall.
Event manager David Nye said: ‘We were delighted to have such strong support from the community, including a team led by our Town Mayor Cllr Rosemary Farmer. Many congratulations to all who took part and enjoyed a fun evening together. Thanks to everyone’s generosity we raised nearly £4,000 for charity.
‘The principal charities are HACRO (The Herts Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders) and Polio Plus, an international Rotary charity aimed at eliminating polio from the world.’
Next year’s Harpenden Quiz of Quizzes will be on Friday, 8 March 2019.
The challenge for students from St Albans and Harpenden secondary schools, competing in this year’s Rotary Technology Tournament, was to design and operate a launcher for a space capsule and then return it safely to the launch pad.
The event, held at the Marlborough Science Academy, St Albans, and organised by the three St Albans Rotary Clubs and Rotary in Harpenden, attracted 22 teams.
Having watched the teams of four plan and develop their ideas, Rotary in Harpenden President Val Beale said: ‘I have to admit that I had no idea how to solve this problem myself but the students worked brilliantly. It was amazing how creative they were. I hope that this has inspired some of them to pursue careers in technology.’
Harpenden’s Roundwood Park School triumphed in two of the three age groups and narrowly missed a trophy in the third, the best result that any one school has achieved.
The event is run each year during March. Teachers, students and parents wishing to know more and discover how to enter teams should contact firstname.lastname@example.org