Oliver, 13, and Worle Community School reporters take school’s Jill Dando good news project to wow Mr Speaker

Oliver, 13, and Worle Community School reporters take school’s Jill Dando good news project to wow Mr Speaker
Jill Dando News Journalists

By Jill Dando News 

Oliver, 13, and other Jill Dando Journalists at Worle Community School Academy have wowed their latest patron Mr Speaker inside Parliament’s state rooms.

The students travelled from their school - the former school of Jill Dando - to be hosted by Mr Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle in Westminster.

Oliver, Ola, Zachary Loki, Rhys, Rupert, Seth, Ben and Ella enjoyed a day of celebrations of the good news project that started in their school in 2017 which has now gone across Somerset and into Malawi, Africa.

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

Oliver talked about how Jill Dando was untouched by the fame and status 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.

“Our Jill Dando Journalists are encouraged to be humble people. This is the expanding legacy of Jill Dando.”

Jill Dando News Correspondent Oliver delivering his speech

At the event 6 other Jill Dando Journalists made speeches about Jill and her positivity, enthusiasm, authenticity, humility, kindness, empathy, and ambition to become the 'smiling face of Britain'.

Mr Speaker, Weston-super-Mare MP John Penrose and MP Alex Davies-Jones also made speeches. Lord Jeffrey Archer helped to sponsor the event.

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Jill was 37 when she was killed on her doorstep on 26th April 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 in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, 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. 

Now Mr Speaker has become the latest patron of the project as more and more people remember the incredible life and expanding legacy of Jill.

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.”

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. 

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

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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