Fundraiser Gemma cycles into accolade territory


Hertfordshire 13-year-oldGemma Jacobson has received an award established in memory of Princess Diana for being a "fundraising champion" for special-needs education support.

The Haberdashers' Aske's pupil wrote hundreds of letters asking for sponsorship for a 200-mile cycle, completed in stages on a tandem with her sister, Talya, who has cerebral palsy, a severe visual impairment and learning disabilities.

She raised £25,000 to establish a helpline to advise families with special-needs children.

Gemma was nominated for her efforts by the special-needs charity Kisharon, of which her mother, Dr Beverley Jacobson, is chief executive.

"Gemma is a truly amazing sister to Talya," Dr Jacobson said.

"She set about trying to help her in her usual quiet way but exceeded all our expectations in what she was able to achieve through persistence and incredible determination. I couldn't be more proud of her."

Gemma received her Diana Award - reflecting the princess's belief in young people having the capacity to change the world for the better - from members of girl band Neon Jungle.

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