'Exceptional' pupil Patrick receives new award

A Shrewsbury pupil who gave up his free time to raise an incredible £1,500 for a children’s charity in South America – and then travelled to thousands of miles to deliver it - is the first recipient of a new award.

Patrick Ward-Clayton (11), received the accolade from Prestfelde School for his ‘exceptional’ actions.

Headmaster Mark Groome said the award has been initiated to recognise any child showing outstanding acts of kindness or charity and Patrick had been a worthy first winner.

“Patrick gave up his free time at Prestfelde for over a week to campaign and fund raise for a children’s centre in South America and collected the impressive amount of almost £1,500. He then spent a fortnight of his summer holiday working at the centre in Bolivia so he sets a very high standard for future recipients,” said Mr Groome.

The funds were donated by pupils and staff af Prestfelde, the school’s friends’ association and Patrick’s family and friends and he used the money to buy essential materials and equipment for the centre for disadvantaged children in La Paz.

He said: “We haggled at the local market to get books mattresses, cushions, replacements for broken fences and floors as well as a large area of astro turf which enabled the babies to go outside to crawl and play as they previously they were locked in dark room all day.

“Our daily routine was to work in a class of 14 two-year-olds. We helped mainly with feeding, changing, reading, crafts, singing, cleaning. It was a complete change for me but I really enjoyed it.”

It was Patrick’s mother’s idea for him to become involved in a volunteer-based project abroad in order to show him another side of life.

Ester Ward-Clayton commented: “He really put his heart and soul into the campaign and the trip to South America had a really positive effect on him - he was like a different person while we were there - really responsible and 'grown-up' and he worked incredibly hard; washing up to 300 plates every day and helping look after the children, amongst lots of other things.

“Despite the language barrier, the challenges of being the first 11-year old volunteer amongst adults, and the culture shock to see such different conditions to what he is used to, and the altitude sickness, Patrick was described as the ‘best volunteer’ they have ever had.

“I'm extremely proud of him and all that he accomplished and his kind donations will have a long-lasting effect on both sides of the Atlantic.”


Pete White Pete White

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