Hitchin teen recognised for support group work

Chloie Duguid with North Herts District Council chairman, Cllr Jane Gray

Chloie Duguid with North Herts District Council chairman, Cllr Jane Gray - Credit: Archant

A teenager who set up a bereavement support group after the deaths of both her parents has been given a county-wide award.

Chloie Duguid, of Beaumont Close in Hitchin, won £400 at the Mitsubishi Electric Young People of the Year (YOPEY) awards, an annual awards event which recognises the achievements of young people from across Hertfordshire.

The audience of 200 at Hertford Regional College, including a representative of the Queen and mayors and council chairmen from across the county, heard how Chloie’s parents, Sharon and Michael Duguid, died within 10 months of each other when in their 40s.

As she grieved, Chloie, now 16, was unable to attend The Priory School in Hitchin, which affected her studies.

During a discussion about her feelings with a member of staff at the school in Bedford Road, Chloie realised there were other pupils who were going through the same trauma, and with the school’s help, she set up The Priory Bravement Group.

Members began meeting at lunchtimes with Chloie taking the lead.

Chloie left school this summer to go to college to study health and social care, but she is still involved and the group continues to grow.

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Chloie was presented with her cash prize, which has been split between herself and the group and will be used for a trip and promotional work.

She said: “My passion and commitment to the group helped me through my past experience. I didn’t expect to get an award.

“I would encourage others to come together and not to be alone.”

Fellow finalist Tino Kainga, of Trumper Road in Stevenage, was nominated after helping Marriotts School run its leadership programme with schools abroad.

She received a £50 runners-up prize, which will be used to school an African child for a year.

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