A BURGATE teacher says she is “so proud” of a group of youngsters who have been named the most committed youth group of 600 across the UK.
The school and sixth form’s young Amnesty International Group was started in 2010 by two Year 7 pupils, George Carter-Owen and Miriam Cakebread, who were then aged just 11.
Since then the group has grown and pupils campaign against many injustices all over the world, contacting MPs and staging fun and more serious demonstrations.
Teacher Julie Carter-Owen, who is the staff representative of the group, said: “People assume that I’ve led this; I haven’t.
“The success of the group has been solely down to the enthusiasm of the pupils, who have in fact led me - they shamed me into being more active myself.
“They really believe they can make a difference to the world, despite being from a small school in the New Forest, and campaign on many issues including women’s rights and torture.
“They tweet MPs and email people and I am so proud of what they do.”
The global charity has named the Burgate group the most committed, and Reece Adlam, 18, was shortlisted in the Human Rights Photographer of the Year Award.
Another member, Oliver Rea, did a 100km bike ride to raise money for the charity, and the whole group has been invited to Parliament to take part in a major campaign on women’s rights in Afghanistan.
Ms Carter-Owen said: “They do funny things such as singing to students to raise money on Valentine’s Day - it’s not all deadly serious. But they are totally inspiring.
“They are all off up to London for the winner’s workshop at the Human Rights Action Centre next month.”
Anne Montague from Amnesty International said: "We are delighted to announce that Burgate has won the Most Committed Group category in the Youth Awards.
“We were all really impressed by the amazing work the group has been doing and will be updating the website shortly with the reasons why we chose the group."
The group are planning a couple of actions before the end of term on stopping torture and the One Goal-No Violence campaign supporting Amnesty Brazil during the World Cup.