A GIRL described as ‘the perfect role model’ has been chosen for a special award.
The presentation of the Andrew Purves Shining Star Award provided a happy ending to what began as a family nightmare.
It was handed over to year-six student Beth Morley at Eastbrook Primary Academy, in Manor Hall Road, Southwick, last Tuesday, in memory of Andrew Purves, who was a pupil at the school when he drowned 34 years ago.
His sister, Sherrian Purves, who had battled to have the award reinstated when the school became an academy in September, made the presentation.
She said: “It was a very emotional day for me to see all the months of what started as utter despair to turn into a dream that’s come true.
“I still don’t have my brother but at least now he will never be forgotten.
“I couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful little girl to be awarded the Andrew Purves Shining Star Award.
“I’m sure Andrew is smiling down with his cheeky smile and we are all smiling back with our own thoughts and memories of a funny, teasing brother, friend and loving son.”
The award was presented as part of the leavers’ assembly.
Head teacher Julia Sherlock said: “It was a poignant assembly, with the children reading poems about their memories of primary school and their dreams for the future.”
Beth was chosen by the three year-six teachers, after considerable discussion.
Mrs Sherlock said: “It was felt she deserved the award because she always works hard, loves learning and has exemplary behaviour.”
Year group leader Kristen Fawcett added that Beth was chosen because she had a very caring nature and was always keen to help and support others. “In fact she is a perfect role model,” he said.
Her name will be added to the shield and she was given a trophy to keep. Parents Sally and Ian Morley said Beth had said she would try her best her to do Andrew proud.