Year 8 student William Davies from Risedale Sports and Community College has been presented with a signed cookery book and letter from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.
Assistant principal and SENCO at Risedale, Sally Zaranko, organised this surprise for William to inspire him to pursue his dream of becoming a chef even despite his own personal battles with illness and allergies have made this a real challenge.
William has eosinophilic oesophagitis, an allergic inflammatory condition of the esophagus.
Mrs Zaranko wrote to Jamie’s headquarters in January and they have been in correspondence over the last few months to organise the surprise for William and on Monday Mrs Zaranko was able to meet with William and mum Amanda to present the book.
William was absolutely delighted with the book.
“It’s amazing,” he said.
“I’ve already said to mum and dad that I’d love a burger van for my 18th birthday as a step towards getting my own restaurant.”
Amanda said: “This is such an unexpected surprise.
“William and I can’t thank Mrs Zaranko enough. It’s such a thoughtful thing to do.
“The signed book and the letter are definitely something that he will treasure for years to come. We’ve never want William’s health difficulties to stop him from pursuing his dreams and this is another reason to keep on fighting.”
Mrs Zaranko wanted to pass on her gratitude to Jamie and in an email to his team said: “I wanted to say a huge thank you for the book which arrived today. I gave the book to William and his mum and to say he was thrilled was an understatement.”