CAMPAIGNERS have won their fight to save a memorial school shield.
The family of Andrew Purves, who drowned 33 years ago at the age of nine, are celebrating the news the Southwick school will use the shield once again.
New head at Eastbrook Academy, Mrs Julia Sherlock, told Andrew’s sister, Sherrian Purves, last week the Andrew Purves Shield will be given annually to a ‘shining star’.
Sherrian said: “She was lovely. She was adamant that the shield would be used.
“She came up with the idea of it being presented to a year six pupil, calling them a shining star. In other words, a child that stands out and has that something special.
“The family think it is a wonderful idea and my mother and I can’t thank her enough.”
Sherrian began a Facebook campaign in July to get the shield reinstated, having learned it had been removed from the Manor Hall Road school’s trophy cabinet and put in a cupboard.
Her mother, Gloria Purves, said at the time: “When it was first presented to the school, the headmaster gave a speech and he said it would be given out long after all those children had left.”
But when she went to the school gala in July to see her grand-daughter, Taryn Purves, take part, she found it had been removed and was told it would not longer be given out because the school was changing to become an academy.
The Facebook campaign attracted strong support, especially from past pupils who remembered Andrew.
Sherrian wrote on it last Tuesday: “We did it!
“I’d like to thank you all for your support through this, I could not have done it without you.”
Mrs Sherlock said the shield would go to someone the staff felt had shown a ‘can do’ attitude and been an asset to the year group.
“I plan to update the shield accordingly and hold an assembly in the near future to explain the award to year six pupils.”
It will now be called the Andrew Purves Shining Star Award.
Sherrian said she didn’t have the heart to take the Save the Andrew Purves Shield Facebook page down.
She said: “I would like to keep and rename it. It will be renamed Remembering Andrew Purves.”
Memories of Andrew can be posted on the site.