A TADCASTER schoolgirl has been rewarded for her bravery by classmates and teachers.

Tilly Wray, who is five and goes to Riverside School in the town, was chosen for the Purple Heart award by teachers and other pupils at her school following being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

She was chosen after the way she worked to adapt her lifestyle and routine as she gets used to managing her diagnosis.


In a ceremony which took place just before May half term, she received the award, which was launched three years ago in memory of eight-year-old Sarah Emmott who died in September 2021 from a severe genetic kidney disease.

Since last year, the school has also made progress on its special memorial garden created in Sarah’s memory, installing new garden ornaments such as a wooden bridge and a well.

The main new feature is the "Each Peach Pear Plum" mural was painted by local artist Claire Bentley-Smith from Posh Fruits Creative.

The Riverside Memorial GardenThe Riverside Memorial Garden (Image: Provided)

This beautiful reflective space in the Year 4 garden area provides a serene place to remember Sarah and celebrate the spirit of resilience and bravery she embodied.

Jenna Denham, Year 4 class teacher at Riverside, which is part of the STAR Multi Academy Trust, said: “This is our third Purple Heart Awards in memory of Sarah, who was such an important part of our school community.

“Those of us who knew her well saw her energy, bravery, and strength shine out every day. We wanted to honour her and celebrate those same attributes in other pupils at Riverside.

“Tilly has been so brave and resilient following her diagnosis. All of the children and staff wanted to recognize her efforts and show how proud we are by awarding her this year’s Purple Heart Award."