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17th July 2018

Lancashire school celebrates Young Leader Awards from Archbishop

The Archbishop of York, The Most Rev and Rt Hon. Dr John Sentamu awarded 265 students from Ripley St Thomas with their KS3 Young Leaders Award recently on the occasion of the Founders’ Day of Ripley St Thomas. 

The Young Leaders Award, which the students have completed, has three components: a personal volunteering challenge enabling them to be a force for good; a school based project focusing on serving others and a community action project working alongside others to make a difference. 

Helen Ballard, teacher at Ripley St Thomas said: “Each year it is humbling to see the range of activities the pupil carry out and everyone in the year group is involved.  We are so delighted that the Archbishop was able to join us on the occasion of our Founders’ Day to present our Young Leaders with their awards.

“It seems very fitting that as we reflect on the generosity of the benefactors, Thomas and Julia Ripley, we should be recognising the service of today’s young people.”

Some pupils organised sponsored events or sales to raise money for charity; other pupils worked with members of the family or neighbours to improve the local environment.

A number of pupils spent time with an elderly relative or neighbour, just talking or doing household chores. The whole year group took part in the annual ‘scruffy-mufti’ day at the end of June and each form went to work on a different project in the Lancaster area.

One form went ‘balsam bashing’ to improve the biodiversity along Burrow Beck. Other forms were helping in Scotch Quarry community garden; at Williamson Park; Winchester Road Wetlands Reserve; Lancaster Boys’ and Girls’ Club and many of the Churchyards in the area. 

One form walked to the Loyne School and helped with cleaning and tidying there as well as playing with the younger children.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu said: “I’m delighted to present awards to these students today who have worked very hard on their Young Leaders Award at Key Stage 3. I’m really pleased that they have come to discover that true leadership begins through serving others.  Congratulations Ripley St Thomas – and keep up the good work.”

Meanwhile the new Bishop of Lancaster, Rt Rev Dr Jill Duff added: “Congratulations to all the young people who have received these Young Leader Awards from the Archbishop.  Such achievements reflect the rounded education that church schools in the Diocese seek to provide to their pupils, enabling spiritual development of students alongside academic and personal development.”

Stephen Whittaker, Director of the Diocesan Board of Education (DBE) added: The DBE is delighted that such a large number of students have manged to achieve the Archbishop’s Young Leader Award, combining personal development with the service of others.”

  • Opened in 1864, Ripley St Thomas School began life as Ripley Hospital, an endowed school founded by Mrs Julia Ripley in memory of her husband, Thomas Ripley, who was a native of Lancaster and a merchant of Liverpool. (Visit: