Carlton’s caring character: Inspirational primary school pupil receives Jo Cox award


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AWARDED: As well as Sumair’s award, a number of children were also presented with invitations to visit the Houses of Parliament

AWARDED: As well as Sumair’s award, a number of children were also presented with invitations to visit the Houses of Parliament

A primary school pupil from Dewsbury has been awarded with the first ever ‘Jo Cox Good Character Award’, in recognition of the kindness and bravery he has displayed following the death of his mother.

Family members of the late Batley and Spen MP were on hand to present the award to 10-year-old Sumair Shahid at Carlton Junior and Infant School.

Sumair was selected from hundreds of pupils at the school to receive the award at a special assembly on Friday 4th November.

On hand to present the award was Mrs Cox’s sister, Kim Leadbeater, and her parents, Jean and Gordon.

Speaking about the message behind the award, Kim said her sister was always a big advocate for character-building, and congratulated Sumair on his success.

“We (Kim and Jo) were always brought up to consider other people’s feelings and to act with kind words and kind hearts and that’s what Jo always did,” she said.

“It was extremely fitting that we were here to present this award to Sumair for his amazing achievements, his kindness and good character.”

Mrs Cox was a regular visitor to the local school and even helped organise a visit to the Houses of Parliament for a visit in November of last year.

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS: 10-year-old Sumair Shahid was presented with the Jo Cox Good Character Award at an assembly attended my local dignitaries and members of the late MP’s family

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS: 10-year-old Sumair Shahid was presented with the Jo Cox Good Character Award at an assembly attended my local dignitaries and members of the late MP’s family

Following her death, children have been learning more about her work, created a ‘remembrance wall’ and most recently have launched the Jo Cox Good Character Award.

On receiving this accolade, Sumair said: “It means a lot to me and I’m really proud of it. Jo meant a lot to us at school. She just made me smile every time she came here.

“My mum would be really proud of me today and I know that she is still looking over me now.”

Headteacher, Rizwana Mahmood, also spoke about why the award had been created.

“Jo had a close relationship with our school and frequently visited us,” Ms Mahmood said. “She became a very close friend over time and has left a real legacy here.

“You can see by just walking through the school, the impact she has had on everyone here.

“When Jo passed away we really felt like her legacy had to carry on. We do a lot of work around character building here and as Jo was a person who possessed such positive attributes, what better to remember her than by presenting an award for character in her name.”

The Jo Cox Character Award will now become an annual accolade and will be presented to a Carlton Junior and Infant School pupil every year.

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