Sunday 1st March 2020 saw the annual Axbridge Civic Service recognise two former Wessex Learning Trust students with awards for their exceptional contribution to the community.
Marcus Ham and Jess Cooksey (both alumnus of Axbridge First School, Fairlands Middle School, and the Kings of Wessex Academy) received the Youth Awards alongside other exceptional individuals from the town, from the Mayor (Kate Brown) and other local dignitaries.
Jess was selected for her outstanding achievements in rugby, with her commitment and passion resulting in her not only playing for her schools, but also for Somerset and England SW division in the U15’s and U18’s. She has also played for England U18’s and for England rugby 7’s when she played in two European Championships, one in France and one in Poland. She is now studying at Durham University where she plays for the University 1st team and for Darlington Mowden Park Sharks. Combined with this, she makes the journey to Windsor once a month to train with the England team and throughout this busy schedule still finds time to train youth teams and return to Winscombe whenever she is able.
Marcus received the award for his exceptional academic achievements and for his musical contribution to Axbridge. Academically, he obtained A*, A*, A in his A Levels, with his hard work and commitment gaining him a place at Oxford University to read Arabic and German. He is also an exceptional musician who has, since the age of 11, been one of the Bell Ringers in Axbridge, carrying on that ancient tradition. As well as playing piano and euphonium to a high standard, he has often helped with occasions in the Church, helped the younger children in the brass band of the Cheddar Valley Music Club and received a Gold Award from the Lions for his outstanding voluntary work.
As well as recognising our former students, the service was expertly accompanied by the Kings of Wessex Brass Band, under the direction of Anne Higgs, who played hymns and gave a rousing rendition of two traditional spiritual songs – Swing Low Sweet Chariot and Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho. The musical talent which was on display from these young people showed that there are more musical stars of the future in the pipeline within the Trust.
The Trust is very proud of these students and the positive impact they have had on their community and, while students, their schools. Chief Executive of the Trust, Gavin Ball, celebrated the achievements; saying:
“it is wonderful to see our students going on to do such incredible things with their lives and to have such a positive impact on the communities they have come from. I am very happy to see their achievements recognised by these prestigious awards.”
Chief Executive – Gavin Ball
We very much look forward to seeing what these two former Trust students will go on to do in their lives, and we hope that their achievements are in someway testament to the success of the Trust in producing exceptional individuals of the future!