A News story by Ellena Schuster-Farrell 6 October 2017

Former Willenhall E-ACT Academy student Gareth Rafferty ended Year 13 in spectacular fashion when he won the prestigious Rotary Club Wolverhampton Young Citizens Award back in July. 

The Mayor of Wolverhampton, Elias Mattu, along with representatives of the Wolverhampton Rotary Clubs, invited seven finalists to the Young Citizens Award Evening at the Mayor’s Parlour, Wolverhampton Civic Centre. The aim of the award is to recognise young people in the city who have gone above and beyond to help others in their community. 

Gareth, who grew up in care, has devoted much of his time and energy to improving the lives of cared for children. Co-chairman of the Wolverhampton Care Leavers Forum, he has hosted Care Leavers week and has also met with Ofsted inspectors to discuss children’s services in his city.  

Accompanying Gareth at the awards were his care worker and assistant head of post 16 at Willenhall, Vikki Haines.   

“He thoroughly deserved this fantastic award and as an academy we should be highlighting this young man’s achievement against all adversity in his life. He is a credit to our academy and an inspiration to others.”Vikki Haines, Assistant Head of Post 16

Aside from his amazing work in the community, Gareth also excelled in Year 13, achieving fantastic results in his Business Level 3 Extended Diploma. He was even given an unconditional offer at the University of Derby to study Marketing and PR this year.