Jill Dando News students wow latest patron Speaker Hoyle in Parliament speeches

Jill Dando News students wow latest patron Speaker Hoyle in Parliament speeches

By Jill Dando News

Jill Dando Journalists in Weston-super-Mare, Highbridge and Burnham have wowed their latest patron, Mr. Speaker, inside Parliament's state rooms.

The students travelled from schools including Worle Community School Academy - the former school of Jill Dando - to be hosted by Mr. Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle in Westminster as he became the latest patron of their good news project.

Students from Priory Community School Academy, St Anne's Church Academy, Castle Batch Primary School Academy, and The King Alfred School Academy also headed to London with Nigel Dando.

During a reception in State Rooms, students gave speeches on Jill Dando and her positive legacy in front of Mr Speaker, scores of Jill Dando News reporters, and other special guests.

Afterwards Evie, 12, of Jill Dando News interviewed Mr Speaker watch here https://youtu.be/6zDvlIUwzSE?feature=shared

Oliver, 13, of Worle Community School Academy talked about how Jill Dando was untouched by the fame and status that took her by surprise after leaving Worle Academy.

He said: "Jill Dando was a person of humility. Even when she was one of the most famous people in Britain, alongside Lady Diana and the Queen, she remained humble."

Isabella, 12, of Priory told a packed State Room about how Jill Dando News reporters follow in the footsteps of Jill with kindness.

Dawson and Charlie, both 17, of The King Alfred School Academy Sixth Form spoke on positivity and ambition, respectively. Dawson had previously interviewed Prime Minister Boris Johnson twice including once inside Downing Street.

Theo, 10, of St Anne's Church Academy spoke on enthusiasm while Rose, 10, of Castle Batch Primary School Academy gave a speech on authenticity.


Jill Dando News Disability correspondent Ellise spoke on the positive expanding legacy of Jill Dando.

Mr. Speaker, Weston-super-Mare MP John Penrose, and MP Alex Davies-Jones also made speeches and there was a cake-cutting of a Jill Dando News coffee and walnut cake sponsored by Revo Kitchen and Terrace, and the Grand Pier, based in Weston. Jill’s favourite cake was coffee and walnut.

Lord Jeffrey Archer of Weston-super-Mare helped to sponsor the event.

Mr Speaker said: “I loved meeting the Jill Dando News reporters - their project of spreading positivity, good news and kindness is a vital message for our times.

“I can still remember the utter shock we felt when that terrible news broke 25 years ago. However, even death could not extinguish that flame of positivity and kindness that the children are shining so brightly in memory of Jill.

“She is living on - through their positive stories and brilliant kindness and character - one story at a time.

“So, I want to say A BIG THANK YOU to every single one of the hundreds of Jill Dando News journalists who have been through this fabulous project in Jill’s memory, since 2017.

“They have done the memory - and legacy - of Jill Dando proud and are instilling a culture of character, kindness, positivity, resilience, respect, and honesty in this generation - and future generations. So, a massive well done to you all.”

Jill was 37 when she was killed on her doorstep on April 26, 1999 - but her legacy continues to shine brightly through the training of hundreds of young journalists.

The timely Jill Dando News was launched in 2017 out of Jill's former school, Worle Academy after students at nearby Priory Academy - also part of The Priory Learning Trust - sowed the seeds of the groundbreaking project.

Expanding ever since, it now benefits hundreds of children aged 7 to 18 in spreading good, ethical news across Somerset and as far-reaching as Africa, a continent Jill had a big heart for.

Their positive stories are posted to the Good News Post online newspaper www.goodnewspost.co.uk, and then to the wider media.

Wearing 'Jill Dando News' jackets and armed with pens and iPads, the children interview people from prime ministers to NASA astronauts.

It trains up real-life journalists and brilliant people of the future to find, write, and post positive good news stories, with training by professional journalists including Nigel Dando, Fiona Bruce, and others from BBC, ITV, and Sky News.

The fast-expanding project has been backed by two Prime Ministers, Mr. Speaker, Sir Richard Branson, Sir Cliff Richard, and a host of other world figures in a world of bad news and rocketing mental health issues.

Olivia Finch, 19, was the first-ever Jill Dando News reporter then aged 12 at Worle Academy, and is now studying to be a doctor at Bristol University.

Olivia said: "Jill inspired us from day one with her life. Jill Dando News is a fitting, expanding legacy for Jill who really was 'the smiling face of Britain.'"

For more stories from Jill Dando News, click: www.goodnewspost.co.uk

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