A PORTHLEVEN woman has been recognised for her services to education in receiving a British Citizen Award.

Leigh Yates attended a prestigious ceremony at the Palace of Westminster to receive her a BCA for Service to Education last Thursday.

She moved from London to Porthleven in 2010 and initially joined the PTA to "make new friends" and told them she didn’t want to get too involved, just help out at events.

To date, Leigh has raised over £500,000 in goods, grants and items for Porthleven School.

Despite running her own business and having a young family, Leigh has dedicated time and hard work to all 260 pupils at Porthleven school.

For some children, this has been life-changing.

Leigh ensures inclusivity by uniting every family to attend events and become involved, including the children, who Leigh encourages to help fundraise.

One of her most positive impacts on the school was securing fundraising from the Armed Forces Community Grant for £70,000, used to fund a multi-use sports facility - previously the children had a flat concrete space.

The children now have a sports facility for football, netball, running and climbing. Many of the children did not engage with sport before this was built.

This is also used by several groups within the community.

The school also had an empty classroom and a need for an art and cooking facility.

Leigh persuaded Interserve to donate a £30,000 pupil kitchen, so pupils can learn to cook.

She fully equipped the kitchen and pupils are taught healthy cooking, classes cook together and parents are invited to participate too.

This facility has changed the way children view food and healthy living. Leigh has even had a Michelin star chef t come in and cook with the children.

Leigh has dedicated her time to Porthleven school in any way she can, to the smallest level, arranging for every child to have daffodils on mother’s day to give to their mum/nan/carers and teachers from the local flower farm.

Leigh said: “It a wonderful honour and I’m humbled and absolutely delighted.”

Unity Trust Bank was one of the main sponsors of the event, which is widely known as The People’s Honours.

Matthew Glover, head of transformation, who presented Leigh with her award, said: “At Unity, our goal is to lend responsibly to firms and organisations that share our mission to benefit society.

"Leigh’s dedication to improving the lives of the Porthleven pupils clearly shows that she shares our values. We’re proud to be able to recognise her fundraising efforts and service to the community with this BCA award.”

The British Citizen Awards (BCAs) were launched in 2015, to recognise exceptional individuals who work tirelessly and selflessly to make a positive impact on society. BCAs are awarded twice annually, and recognise extraordinary people whose achievements may otherwise be overlooked.

Leigh is one of 35 medallists who were honoured at the ceremony.

All BCA recipients have selflessly undertaken various activities in support of a number of worthy causes.

Each received a Medal of Honour, inscribed with the words ‘For the Good of the Country’. Medallists are also invited to use the initials BCA after their name.

The event was hosted by TV star Matt Allwright, who stated: “I’m so delighted to be helping out at the awards. It’s a really great opportunity to remind ourselves of the amazing contribution people make, and recognise the good things going on in our society."

The medals were presented by senior representatives from Places for People, Unity Trust Bank, Experian, Specsavers, The Co-operative Bank, One Stop and Pampers who all sponsor these awards widely referred to as ‘the People’s Honour’s.