Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School has launched The Nell Jones prize for a short story competition, to start in January, in honour of Nell who tragically lost her life in the Manchester terror attack. Her family and friends hope this will build a lasting tribute to her in launching an annual writing competition in her memory.
Nell attended Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School in Cheshire and was described by her family as a ‘bright’ and ‘hard-working’ student who loved school. Her dad Ernie said that losing her was the hardest thing they have ever had to deal with, and that they have been working closely with the school to make sure she is never forgotten. The school has now announced it was launching a short story competition in Nell’s memory, which will be held each year and a special prize, sponsored by Nell’s parents, will be awarded to the winner.
The Nell Jones prize will be awarded to students in Year 9, which is the year Nell was in when she died.
However to mark the start of the competition, this year a special prize will also be presented for the best stories from Year 10, which is the year group that Nell would have been part of.
Nell’s dad Ernie said his daughter would have been proud to have known her memory was encouraging youngsters at school.
“Losing Nell is the hardest thing we have ever had to deal with; it is heartbreaking,” he said. “Nell was a lovely girl who loved school. She just got on with it. She was bright, worked hard and was doing really well. We are delighted that her name will live on at the school in this way. The thought that her memory will be used to encourage children to learn and to succeed at school would make her very proud.”
Helena Collison, the school’s literacy coordinator and director of The Communications Super Faculty added, “We will be linking the Nell Jones Award to Radio 2’s national, 500 word, short story competition for children in the 10 to 13 age range. Entries will be encouraged from year groups 7 to 10, with entries from the Year 7 and 8 entered into the national competition. The Nell Jones prize will be awarded to the best short story from a student in Year 9, and as with the national competition, there will be a gold, silver and bronze award.”