EXEMPLARY pupils were honoured at a school awards ceremony set up in memory of an inspirational woman.

Sarah Kitchener, who attended Bromfords School, in Grange Avenue,Wickford, died of a brain tumour in March 2010, aged 27.

She was a trainee accountant and moved to London, but returned to the family home, in Grange Avenue, when she became too ill.

She defied doctors, not only by returning to work for a time, but also by working as a volunteer for five months at Colchester Hospital.

She was considered such a commendable pupil at the school, teachers set up the Sarah Kitchener Endeavour award.

Every 12 months one student from each year group is nominated by staff for their outstanding contribution to school life and personal accomplishments.

At a special ceremony on Tuesday, Sonny Marra won the award for Year 7, Rachel Fryer for Year 8 and Connor Kirby for Year 9.

In Year 10 Carys Davidson took home the award, while Year 11’s Ben Clark also received the overall winner’s shield.

Martin Coulson, the school’s acting headteacher who once taught Sarah, said: “The evening is a mixture of emotions, reflection and sadness for the loss of an outstanding individual and the recognition of a selection of just some of the excellent students we’re proud to have at Bromfords School and Sixth Form College.

“Sarah was an outstanding student who contributed to all aspects of school life.

“When faced with this lifethreatening illness, her strength and determination to keep achieving never wavered.

“Her courage to work hard and challenge herself when faced with adversity was an inspiration to all who knew her.”

Each student was presented with an award and £20 gift voucher with an overall winner receiving a personalised trophy, £30 gift voucher and their name on the Sarah Kitchener Shield, which is kept on display at the school.