This year’s Tony Wood Award, presented by Aljezur International School, has been won by year 11 student Amelia Edney. The annual award is given in memory of retired fire chief Tony Wood, a valued friend and supporter of the school who died in December 2011 following a short battle with cancer.
The award was first presented in June 2012 and every year students are asked to nominate three of their peers who they feel have shown compassion and kindness throughout the academic year. The student with the most nominations wins, and Amelia was overwhelmed when this year’s result was announced.
“I just could not believe it when my name was read out,” she said. “I actually still cannot believe that so many students voted for me and I was reduced to tears yet again when year 7 and 8 students who I barely know came up to congratulate me and tell me that they had voted for me too.”
Tony’s wife, Sue, and his daughter Sophie usually come to Portugal from the UK every year to present the award but this year they were unable to do so as Sophie, an ex-student of Aljezur International, is expecting her first baby. They did manage to join the ceremony on Zoom along with lots of parents and friends of the school.
Sue said, “It is wonderful that the school Tony was so fond of keeps his memory alive in Portugal by presenting this award every year. Before he retired, Tony was presented with the Queen’s Fire Service Award at Buckingham Palace and it meant more to him than any of his other medals because his peers nominated him.
It’s perfect that the Tony Wood Award is given in the same spirit.”
Amelia has another reason to celebrate as she and three of her classmates have just completed their Bronze level Duke of Edinburgh Award. This is the first year that Aljezur International students have taken part in this renowned international award and they are already looking forward to starting the Silver level in September.