Press release

North-east teenager receives award from Education Secretary

Student George Hunter receives Lord Glenamara Memorial Prize for academic success, voluntary work and raising mental health awareness.

George Hunter receives his award from Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan

An outstanding teenager who used his online blog to raise awareness about mental health issues received a prestigious award from Education Secretary Nicky Morgan today (2 February 2016).

Student George Hunter, from Ponteland High School in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Northumberland, picked up the annual Lord Glenamara Memorial Prize during a ceremony at King’s College, London.

George, a straight A and A* student and St John’s Ambulance volunteer, was the fourth winner of the annual prize open to high-achieving youngsters in years 11 and 12 across the north-east of England who have made positive civic contributions, often in their spare time.

Among George’s recent achievements was his ‘My Tie Diary’ blog that was set up to encourage discussion about mental health and raise awareness on the subject.

He had also found the time to run a series of Mandarin classes for year 9 pupils following on from his win in a national Mandarin speaking competition.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said:

George’s outstanding academic achievements and willingness to serve his wider community in various ways made him an incredibly deserving winner.

I was delighted to meet George, and to present him with the Lord Glenamara Memorial Prize. Both he and the runners-up deserve great credit for what they have achieved, and I have no doubt they will go on to great things in the future.

Speaking after finding out he had won the Lord Glenamara Memorial Prize, George said:

I am passionate for young people to be supported and educated at school on mental health and wellbeing, and I want to use this prize to promote this. When young people are properly supported, they cope better, learn better, and become more resilient.

I will continue to encourage others to learn increasingly important languages, such as Mandarin.

George could choose to undertake a 2-day work experience programme at the Department for Education’s central London offices following on from his win.


The Lord Glenamara Memorial Prize is open to students in years 11 and 12 across the north-east of England who have shown:

  • strong academic performance across a range of subjects
  • a civic contribution, particularly volunteering personal time for activities such as mentoring younger pupils, helping with extracurricular events, or working with a youth group or a charity outside school hours
  • an interest in government, education, history or public service

The runners-up were:

  • Darren Appleby, Churchill Community College
  • Lucy Bell, Hebburn Comprehensive School
  • Maryam Garkuwa, St Robert of Newminster Catholic School and Sixth Form College
  • Lauren Howells, The English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College
  • Leoni Loughlin, Harton Technology College
  • Reiss Luke, Wellfield Community School
  • Connor Peebles, Churchill Community College
  • Eleanor Peggie, Harton Technology College
  • Zoe Rankin, Carmel College

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Published 2 February 2016