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Brother’s tribute crusade award in memory of his schoolgirl sister

Jemma-Louise Roberts
Jemma-Louise Roberts

A Wigan teenager has been recognised for his efforts to highlight a potentially fatal health condition in memory of his sister.

Standish High pupil Jemma-Louise Roberts was just 13 when she died in March 2014 from the blood infection sepsis.

Joseph receives his award from Natasha Kaplinski

Joseph receives his award from Natasha Kaplinski

Since then her family and friends have worked hard to raise awareness of sepsis and toxic shock syndrome.

Brother Joseph, who is now 16, has now been given a national award by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) for his efforts.

The Winstanley College student won the Young Health Champions Award at the society’s Hygeia Awards, held in London to honour outstanding achievements. It was presented to him by newsreader Natasha Kaplinski.

Joseph, along with friends of Jemma-Louise and pupils from The Deanery High School, took part in the RSPH’s Young Health Champions programme last year, run with Wigan Council.

They created a moving video in which they talked about Jemma-Louise and highlighted sepsis, toxic shock syndrome and meningitis.

They travelled to London to launch the video at the RSPH’s Young Health Movement conference and Joseph spoke about the video and why they made it. The video has been shared online by UK Sepsis Trust and Wigan Council. View it at wigantoday.

In his role as a Young Health Champion, Joseph also raised awareness of the conditions among his peers while attending Standish High, raised money for Sepsis UK and took part in a Colour Run.

His mother Diane, from Whelley, said: “I’m very proud. It’s a little bit bittersweet considering the circumstances that it’s done for, but I am proud of what he has achieved and what Joseph’s friends have achieved.”

She has also worked hard to make people aware of toxic shock syndrome and sepsis, including raising money for UK Sepsis Trust through events including a concert at the Old Courts, in Wigan town centre, and coffee mornings. Mrs Roberts urged Wiganers to share the video made by the group to support their efforts.