You decide in Yorkshire Choice Awards

Tuesday 16 January 2018

A current student, a former teacher and three alumni of The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) are all in the running for prestigious Yorkshire Choice Awards.

These awards celebrate achievement in Yorkshire and the choice really is yours, as the winners are chosen by a public vote. Voting closes on Friday 16 March.

See a list of candidates and cast your vote

Josephine Dobson

Year 13 student Jo Dobson is a British junior weightlifting champion and is nominated in the category Sporting Achievement of the Year.

Jo (pictured above) enjoyed a very successful year in 2017, taking her biggest win in September at the British Weight Lifting (BWL) Junior Championships. She became U20 champion in the women’s 63kg class despite being the youngest in the category at only 17 years of age. This national title followed on from a win in the women’s 63kg class at the U20 Northern Championships earlier in the year.

Shortly after the national championships, Jo’s dedication and achievement was recognised with a prestigious scholarship from the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS), following her nomination by BWL. Further proof of Jo’s talent is evidenced by her selection to the BWL Youth Development Squad, the talent pathway for 13-17 year olds.

As a member of Leeds City Weightlifting, Jo trains 5-6 times a week at Leeds Beckett University. This is on top of studying full-time for her A-levels, demonstrating impressive commitment to her sport as well as to her academic studies.

Barry Brindley

Former deputy head of GSAL Barry Brindley (pictured below) is nominated in the category Volunteer of the Year, in recognition of his tireless work supporting disadvantaged communities in Malawi.

Since his retirement in 2011, Barry has continued voluntarily to run GSAL’s Malawi project, which he started 30 years ago at Leeds Girls’ High School. As well as raising funds for vital community resources Barry organises a biennial tour to Malawi for senior students, who lend a hand with practical projects and see for themselves how their fundraising makes a difference.

Barry’s key achievements include:

  • £422,250 raised for projects in Malawi
  • 450 tonnes of educational, medical and relief items collected, packed, dispatched by container and distributed in Malawi, with the help of individuals and partners like Rotary clubs
  • 25 classrooms, four libraries and two science labs provided for schools
  • 447 students and 47 staff have visited Malawi to work on projects there
  • Formalising the project by setting up the Zikomo Trust charity

Zikomo means thank you in Chichewa, the language of Malawi, and as Barry says: “Malawi is known as the warm heart of Africa; their most commonly used word is thank you.”

Gareth Dunn, Rob Cowen and Daniel Gray

Visit our alumni pages to read about nominees who are alumni of GSAL or Leeds Grammar School.

Cast your votes online


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