Rotarians praise youngsters as local heroes

Posted by: Belinda Hargreaves

Mon 30th October 2023

A young man from Alfreton has been hailed as a hero by the local Rotary Club.

A total of nine students from Belper, Duffield, Denby and Alfreton schools have been publicly celebrated for “their resilience and fortitude in addressing personal difficulties in their lives or the lives of others.”

Amongst those recognised was Monty Sarna who attends Alfreton Park School.

The Belper and Duffield Rotary Club’s ceremony and lunch recently took place at Shottle Hall in Belper, to recognise the nine young people who received their etched glass awards from Sergeant Scott Riley of Derbyshire Constabulary.

Sergeant Riley said: “As a ‘Belper lad’ I am very proud to present these young people from local schools with awards to recognise their determination in extremely difficult circumstances.”

A spokesman for the Rotary Club said of the young people who received awards: “Monty Sarna of Alfreton Park School is a remarkable young man, who, despite various barriers, physical and mental including epilepsy and related surgery, takes this in his stride and along with his parents kept school absences to a minimum and he and his family are regarded as truly inspirational.

William Furness of Ecclesbourne School, Duffield for his ongoing tenacity in supporting a school friend with serious personal illness.

Lewis Holt of Ecclesbourne School, Duffield who shows resilience and tenacity in the face of personal adversity through ongoing personal illness.

Edward Platts of Ecclesbourne School, Duffield who has Down’s Syndrome yet fully involved in school activities and excelled and achieved significant certificates in maths and English programmes.”

The spokesman continued: “Elizabeth Minns of Ecclesbourne School, Duffield whose life was devastated by a family terminal illness and bereavement. Demonstrating incredible bravery, Elizabeth adapted to her new life circumstances, dedication to her studies and overall school life.

Rosie Smith of Belper School where she is an inspiration to her peers showing tremendous courage and resilience each and every day. She is a member of a school group supporting new year seven students in their transition to the school.

Tilly Creelman of Belper School where she is highly regarded as inspirational in her attitude and approach each day. A popular student who shows tremendous courage and resilience each and every day. Tilly is identified as a credit to both her family and school.

Connie Atkinson-Gregory of Belper School whose world was turned upside down with an unthinkable close family bereavement. Coping with more than most people should have to, she has done so with grace and humility, giving time to her church group, creative writing and playing drums in-front of large audiences.”

The spokesman added: “Scott Gration of John Flamsteed School Denby has suffered tragic family bereavement alongside severe personal illness that severely restricts involvement in any contact sport and physical activity. Despite the negatives, Scott is positive minded, committed and wants to succeed at being as normal a person as possible.”

The special event was supported by a number of organisations including: Killingworth & Parrott Solicitors, Lubrizol, Shacklocks Solicitors, Shottle Hall Hotel, The Titan Children’s Trust, Carter Legrand Wealth Management, West House Dental Practice and members of Belper & Duffield Rotary.

Diane Smiles the leader of the Rotary group, said: “I am absolutely amazed and inspired by the courage shown by the nine youngsters being recognised today. I would like to thank all those who have made it possible.”

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