Student Earns Top National Award
31st January 2014

A 12 year old Chelmsford student has been awarded a prestigious Diana Award. The national award, named after Princess Diana, is presented to inspirational or socially active young people who have made a positive difference to the lives of others and their communities.


Teachers from New Hall School in Chelmsford nominated 12 year old Charley Spriggs, from Chelmsford, for an ‘Active Campaigner’ award in recognition of her incredible charity work.


Last year, Charley became one of the youngest ever people to take part in a successful attempt to swim the English Channel.  She was part of a six swimmer team who completed the 21-mile feat in 12 hours and 15 minutes. Charley was determined to complete the fund-raising challenge to raise money for Papworth Hospital after they treated her Grandad for cancer, which at first was diagnosed as inoperable. The minimum age for a young person to swim the channel as part of a team is 12 and Charley completed the challenge just days after her 12th birthday. She organised and led the team who raised over £15,500. Mrs Jeffrey and Charley will attend a special presentation ceremony in London in February.


Charley Spriggs said: “When I first heard I had won the award, I screamed! I was amazed that my grandad’s inoperable lung cancer could lead to something so fantastic. I’m just so glad that he is still here, because without Papworth Hospital, he wouldn’t be. I just wanted to thank them, but it’s turned into something much more than that – mainly because I didn’t realise how challenging swimming the channel would be!”


Katherine Jeffrey, Principal of New Hall School said: “We are delighted for Charley that she should receive this recognition for her charity endeavours. Through all she has achieved she has been an inspiration to her peers and the staff at New Hall. We are all delighted for Charley.”


A spokesperson for the Diana Award said: “We were absolutely delighted to receive this nomination it certainly had the wow factor!”

The award ceremony is being hosted by Barclays at Canary Wharf on Friday 28 February.



For more information please contact Heather Barras, Marketing Assistant, New Hall School on

01245 467 588 or email:



Notes to Editors:


·          New Hall School is a leading Catholic independent boarding & day school for boys and girls aged 3-18.

·          Founded in 1642, New Hall School, Chelmsford, is the oldest Catholic school in England that has always taken girls. Following the establishment of its new charitable status as New Hall School Trust in 2005, in a pioneering move the former convent school opened its doors to senior boys.

·          New Hall School are proud of their academic achievements. In 2013, students achieved a 100% success rate in GCSE and A Level Examinations.

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