Niamh honoured for reaching a global audience

Niamh Costello
Niamh Costello

A STUDENT has been rewarded for providing a voice for young people around the world.

Niamh Costello, who studies the International Baccalaureate at Priestley College, has received the International Award from the Sixth Form Colleges’ Association.

“I have gained a lot from many of the things I have done, but at the same time it has benefitted other people,” she said. “I have always enjoyed what I have done and have met some amazing people.”

Niamh, who started on the Warrington Youth Council aged 13, is now a trustee with the North West Youth Work Unit.

Among her achievements with the regional body has been to develop a policy for stricter confidentiality to protect pupils who consult school nurses and doctors.

This was launched by the government two months ago and has been rolled out to schools across the country.

The former Lymm High School student dealt with representatives from the NHS as she led the development of the policy.

“This is one of the things I am most pleased about,” said Niamh, of Thelwall New Road, Thelwall.

“It was a personal goal, but also a group achievement and an area where we have really made a difference.”

The Sixth Form Colleges’ Association also rewarded Niamh after she travelled to Brussels for a four-day event designed to help young people from across the world to share best practice.

Niamh offered other teenagers advice on how she was giving a voice to young people in Britain and also brought home some tips of her own including how to access European funding for youth projects.

The 18-year-old also took part in The Tall Ships Races, which involves young people from across the world in a sailing challenge.

They have to work together to complete the race – last year it was Dublin to Spain – and Niamh’s team won both times she entered.

Now she hopes to study English at Oxford and eventually work in social research or policy guidance on an international level.

“Studying the International Baccalaureate has really given me a global perspective and broadened my horizons,” said Niamh.

Senior tutor Mark Salmon said: “I nominated Niamh for the International Award because of her outstanding commitment to her work for Warrington Borough Council and also her excellent work each year at the Model United Nations Conference.

“She has been an outstanding member of the Graduate programme and we wish her every success in realising her goal to study English at Mansfield College, Oxford.”

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