Ashfield School fundraiser is in line for youth award

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AN Ashfield School pupil who has devoted his life to fundraising and drama was named as a finalist in this year’s Young People of the Year award (YOPEY).

Sixthformer Reece Lyle (17), of Grangewood Road in Kirkby, is being recognised for the dedication he has shown in drama - and for the fundraising he has done following the death of fellow student Greg Bear (17), who died from septicemia and bronchial pneumonia after becoming ill with flu.

Reece was nominated by dance and drama teacher Debbie Perkins and other students because of the support he offered to staff and pupils during this time.

Mrs Perkins said: “It had a devastating effect on the school. Reece comforted Greg’s friends. He helped keep their spirits up – and the staff too.”

And headteacher Dick Vasey added: “Reece is an outstanding ambassador for the school taking part in the school council, post-16 management committee and supporting the wide range of activities and events in performing arts in a very proactive way.

“Following Greg’s tragic death, Reece has led the efforts to raise funds for a memorial garden – taking part in a sponsored walk and organising and hosting a concert in school.

“Reece has been very supportive of other students during this time and has been a source of comfort for many of his peers. I am also very much aware that the family are very grateful for the support Reece has given them.”

Reece has also combined his love for drama with fundraising and he is currently producing a variety show to raise funds for the Greg Bear Memorial Garden, a place by the Post-16 Centre where students can relax and reflect.

He said: “It will be a cross between Britain’s Got Talent and the X Factor. We are planning it now and will be auditioning soon. It will be for Greg but it will not be a memorial - we will have fun too which is what he would have wanted.”

Greg’s father Gary said: “Reece has worked very hard on it and we know he has tried to include as many of Greg’s friends in the line-up and it is very important everyone has a great time for Greg.”

Reece has also used his talents to raise money for numerous charities, including Amnesty International, Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity and Comic Relief. Two years ago, a day of events raised £3,500 for a youngster with cerebral palsy.

While Reece has been described by Mrs Perkins as ‘an A-star drama student’ she also says he is keen to pass on his skills to other people and even took a Year Seven drama class when the teacher was unavailable.

Reece, who is also a member of the Studio 86 drama group in Mansfield and hopes to become a drama teacher, said: “They were loud but they were good kids and they listened. I tried to get the best out of them all.”

As a finalist for the fifth Notts YOPEY, which will be held on 14th July, Reece is in with a chance of winning a cash prize.