Three community champions from Richmond School and Sixth Form College have been recognised at this year’s British Citizen Youth Awards (BCyA) for their contribution to charity.
Fourteen-year old James Lunn, his brother Andrew, 12, and their friend Marcus Weston, 14, were honoured for their efforts at a formal presentation held at the Palace of Westminster.
Attended by 120 guests, including host Rt Hon Lord Blunkett, patrons Dame Mary Perkins and Nicky Cox MBE, speaker Baroness Estelle Morris and presenter and patron Kimberly Wyatt, the British Citizen Youth Awards, in association with Specsavers, highlights individual acts of bravery, kindness and compassion from young people under the age of 18 across the UK.
Mike Faulkner, co-founder of the awards, said: “The achievements of these three boys and their commitment to put something back into society, so impressed the assessment panel that they were moved to recognise the first-ever trio for a BCyA.
“The boys collectively endured for the good of others and they are worthy recipients of their specially minted bespoke medals, which are inscribed with the words ‘For the Good of the Country’.”
The boys are invited to use the BCyA letters after their names, as a post-nominal, in recognition of their positive impact on society.
The boys received their BCyA medal from Kimberly Wyatt, member of The Pussycat Dolls, judge of Got to Dance and Celebrity MasterChef champion, who said: “I am honoured to present the British Citizen Youth Awards. This awards programme shines a light on the efforts of our youth and is something to be revered. The world needs more young people like these leading our communities.”
Following the formal medal presentations, all guests were treated to an open-top lap of honour tour of the capital on a BCyA-branded double-decker bus, courtesy of Big Bus London, which has supported the BCyA since its inception.
After the awards, the boys were honoured to spend time with Baronness Harris of Richmond who gave them a behind-the-scenes tour of the House of Lords.
They were privileged to meet Lord Fowler, the Lord Speaker in the House of Lords Chamber and were invited to go into the Chamber while the debates of the day were taking place.
Baroness Harris said the boys were “great citizens of the world”.
This prestigious accolade marks the third award for the boys in recognition of their 300-mile Richmond to Richmond cycling challenge which raised £4,800 for the Butterwick Hospice.
Andrew and James invited Marcus to be part of this exciting project. Marcus has a host of health issues, being one of only 400 people worldwide living with Cardio-Facio Cutaneous Syndrome (CFC Syndrome), a rare genetic condition. Undeterred, Marcus set his own challenge, learning to ride a specially adapted trike to ride 30 miles, one per day, around the school playground.
James Lunn said: ”It was a huge honour for us to receive the award and wonderful to experience this in the setting of the House of Lords.
“We were so humbled to hear the incredible stories of the other medallists and it has inspired us to do more for our community.”
The boys raised a huge amount for the Butterwick Hospice to support the care of terminally ill children and adults.
Jenna Potter, headteacher at Richmond School and Sixth Form College, said: “As the headteacher of a large secondary school and sixth form college, I am constantly reminded that young people are such a force for good.
“The three boys exemplify everything that we would wish to be ourselves, as adults – thoughtful, generous, respectful and determined.
“It is a privilege to have them in our school and I am delighted to see them being rewarded for their efforts.”