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Southgate schoolboy’s charity work rewarded with trip to Disney World

Year nine pupil Ryan Aoudjet has been supporting Great Ormond Street Hospital, reports Louis Altmann

Southgate School pupil and (inset right) Disney World
Southgate School pupil Ryan Aoudjet (inset left) and Disney World (inset right)

A Southgate School student was rewarded with a trip to Disney World in Florida for his “outstanding charity work” supporting Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Year nine pupil Ryan Aoudjet was nominated for the trip thanks to his efforts as vice chair of the Young People’s Forum for Great Ormond Street Hospital, which represents patients and their siblings aged from ten to 21. Ryan became the youngest person to ever hold this position after being elected to it by 70 other YPF members.

As vice chair, Ryan leads meetings and helps design projects for the Children’s Cancer Centre and the Sight and Sound Centre. He also recently made a presentation to the hospital’s governors’ group, made up of staff and parents, and conducted interviews for the hospital’s staff members, including the chief financial officer, head of music therapy and the chief operating officer.

The trip to Disney World was organised by the charity Dreamflight, which takes around 200 children with disabilities or serious illnesses to Orlando every year. Dreamflight aims to “inspire confidence, independence and friendship” among the children who go on their holidays. During their ten-day stay, the children are supported by a dedicated team of volunteer doctors, nurses and physiotherapists.

Ryan said: “I am so grateful for having been given such a great opportunity – it has really helped to improve my confidence. For example, I enjoyed meeting people who could be taking the same medication as me, and so it was easier to talk and share experiences.”

Martin Lavelle, headteacher at Southgate School, said: “Ryan Aoudjet is one of our most inspirational students, showing resilience and determination at all points.

“This trip is very well deserved, particularly following his hard work advocating for his peers within the Young
People’s Forum; he is an extraordinary young person who undoubtedly has a very bright future ahead of him.”