New Hall girl wins Diana Award

Twelve-year-old Chelmsford student Charley Spriggs has been awarded a prestigious Diana Award

The national award, named after Princess Diana, is presented to inspirational or socially active young people who have made a positive difference to the lives of others and their communities.

Teachers from New Hall School in Chelmsford – a Catholic independent boarding and day school for boys and girls aged 3-18 – nominated Charley for an ‘Active Campaigner’ award in recognition of her charity work.

Last year, Charley became one of the youngest ever people to take part in a successful attempt to swim the English Channel.  She was part of a six-swimmer team who completed the 21-mile feat in 12 hours and 15 minutes.

Charley was determined to complete the fund-raising challenge to raise money for Papworth Hospital after they treated her granddad for cancer. The minimum age for a young person to swim the channel as part of a team is 12 and Charley completed the challenge just days after her 12th birthday. She organised and led the team, which raised over £15, 500.

Charley Spriggs said: “When I first heard I had won the award, I screamed! I was amazed that my granddad’s inoperable lung cancer could lead to something so fantastic. I’m just so glad that he is still here, because without Papworth Hospital, he wouldn’t be. I just wanted to thank them, but it’s turned into something much more than that – mainly because I didn’t realise how challenging swimming the Channel would be!”

Katherine Jeffrey, principal of New Hall School, said: “We are delighted for Charley that she should receive this recognition for her charity endeavours. She has been an inspiration to her peers and the staff at New Hall.”

A spokesperson for the Diana Award said: “We were absolutely delighted to receive this nomination – it certainly had the wow factor!”

The award ceremony, which will be attended by Charley and Mrs Jeffrey, is being hosted by Barclays at Canary Wharf on Friday 28 February.

Independent Education Live

A FREE digital event with five hours of live panel discussions and interviews with influential leaders