News story

Winner of the 2015 Lord Glenamara Memorial Prize announced

Newcastle student George Hunter recognised for his academic success, voluntary work, and raising awareness of mental health issues.


An inspirational student who has worked hard to raise awareness of mental health issues and taken the initiative to run his own Mandarin Chinese classes has won the prestigious Lord Glenamara Memorial Prize for 2015 to 2016.

George Hunter, of Ponteland High School in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Northumberland, was today (16 December 2015) announced as the fourth winner of the annual award by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan.

George was commended for his impressive academic and extra-curricular achievements, which include:

  • academic excellence in gaining straight A and A* grades in his GCSEs
  • volunteering for St John’s Ambulance and at a local hospice
  • working hard to raise awareness of mental health issues by setting up the ‘My Tie Diary’ blog which encourages people to talk about mental health
  • running Mandarin Chinese classes for year 9 students after previously winning a national Mandarin speaking competition

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said:

George is clearly a well-rounded young man whose outstanding academic achievements and wider contribution to his school and local community make him a deserving winner of the Lord Glenamara Memorial Prize and a shining example for others.

I would also like to congratulate the other nominees, who were hugely impressive and made the final decision very difficult for our panel of judges.

Reacting to his award, George said:

I am honoured and thrilled to win this wonderful award. I would like to acknowledge the support given to me by my teachers, friends and family and would like to thank everyone.

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.

The prize is open to school pupils 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 Education Secretary will present George with his trophy and meet the runners-up at a reception at King’s College London on Tuesday 2 February 2016. George will also have the opportunity to undertake a 2-day work experience programme at the Department for Education’s offices in London.

The runners-up are:

  • 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
Published 16 December 2015