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Tadcaster pupil diagnosed with diabetes wins school’s Purple Heart Award

Riverside School Hosts 3rd Awards Ceremony in Memory of Sarah Emmott

A Tadcaster pupil who has shown remarkable bravery and resilience since being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes earlier this year has been awarded the school’s annual Purple Heart Award.

Tilly Wray, who is 5, attends Riverside School. She was chosen by her classmates and teachers for her achievements.

In a ceremony which took place just before the children broke up for May half term, she received the award, which was launched three years ago in memory of eight-year-old Sarah Emmott who sadly passed away in September 2021 due to a severe genetic kidney disease.

Pictured with her sister Maisie Wray and friend Edith Carr, Tilly has had to adapt her lifestyle and routines as she gets used to managing her diabetes. Their support has been invaluable during this time.

Jenna Denham, Year 4 class teacher at Riverside School, which is part of the STAR Multi Academy Trust, said: “This is our third Purple Heart Awards in memory of Sarah, who was such an important part of our school community.

“Those of us who knew her well saw her energy, bravery, and strength shine out every day. We wanted to honour her and celebrate those same attributes in other pupils at Riverside.

“Tilly has been so brave and resilient following her diagnosis. All of the children and staff wanted to recognize her efforts and show how proud we are by awarding her this year’s Purple Heart Award.”

Since last year, the school has also made progress on its special memorial garden created in Sarah’s memory, installing new garden ornaments such as a wooden bridge and a well.

The main new feature is the “Each Peach Pear Plum” mural painted by local artist Claire Bentley-Smith from Posh Fruits Creative. This beautiful reflective space in the Year 4 garden area provides a serene place to remember Sarah and celebrate the spirit of resilience and bravery she embodied.

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