Amazing kid reporter Elijah has interviewed the Prime Minister twice in two months – just weeks after fighting for his life while on a dream family holiday to Italy. (Exclusive by Jill Dando News Centre reporter Dawson Panter-Wray, 12)
The wannabee professional YouTuber was part of the first ever Children’s Lobby in Britain to interview Boris Johnson in Downing Street – and the Prime Minister vividly remembered their first meeting back at The King Alfred School Academy two months earlier.
Elijah, then aged only 9, interviewed Boris in Highbridge as part of the Jill Dando News Centre which was seen by over 300,000 people on Twitter.
But what Boris Johnson and the watching world didn’t know is that three weeks earlier, Elijah’s dream first holiday abroad on an aeroplane to Italy was cut short – near fatally after he contracted sepsis. The illness started in his mouth and saw his face balloon as it started to spread.
After being rushed to two different Italian hospitals, where no one spoke English, Elijah spent five nights battling for his life in an Italian hospital.
Now after three months of drama, Elijah is back to helping to recruit new younger pupil journalists to the Jill Dando News Centre at St Anne’s Church Academy.
Elijah’s once-in-a-lifetime interview included a tour of Number 10, the Cabinet room, meeting Larry the Downing Street Cat, and having photographs on the famous doorstep.
It is the sort of exciting opportunities available for students of St Anne’s and The Priory Learning Trust.
Elijah said: “I felt so cool as hardly any people get to experience what I did, I vowed walking out of Downing Street that I would be back!”
Headteacher Lisa Dadds, who accompanied Elijah to Downing Street, said: “Elijah is a wonderful boy and was so excited at his experiences with the Prime Minister.
“One of our school projects is to help the pupils that they can be people of influence and that is just what Elijah has done. It has been a few months of drama but Elijah has settled right back into his school work and is already helping to train the younger pupils in the Jill Dando journalism.”
The Jill Dando News Centres inspire and train students to be brilliant at finding stories in their schools and communities, as well as being kind and positive. They were set up in Jill’s old school Worle Community School Academy and The Priory Learning Trust and are helped by professional journalists and editors including Nigel Dando.