West Bridgford schoolgirl receives Prime Minister's award for climate change activism

By Keimae Blake

An “amazing student” from West Bridgford has been awarded Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s daily Points of Light award today.

The Points of Light award recognises individual volunteers.

Six-year-old Aleesha Gadhia has been given the award for her efforts in raising awareness of deforestation and climate change.

She had previously received letters from the Royal Family and Sir David Attenborough for her efforts.

The six-year-old is an ambassador for ‘Cool Earth’ a British, non profit organisation that works alongside rainforest communities to stop deforestation and climate change.

Aleesha has written to hundreds of the UK’s largest companies and influencers to encourage them to take climate action. She has also raised £3,000 for ‘Cool Earth’ to set up a climate change club at her school, encouraging others to take care of the environment by activities such as planting trees and litter picking.

The young ambassador and activist said she was really excited and happy to have won the award.

"I am really grateful and honoured to have Prime Minister Boris Johnson to award and write a letter to me,” she said.

“ I never thought I would receive such an award. Climate change is a really important issue and I hope raising awareness will tackle this problem. Thank you to everyone who has supported me, including my teachers Mrs Heatlie and Mrs Wand. Thank you also, to Cool Earth for making me their first youth ambassador.”

Alessha’s parents, Kiran and Pooja Gadhia added: “We are so proud of Aleesha, she has done so much over the past year for someone so young. She has inspired us all and we hope she continues on this amazing journey.”

The Prime Minister’s UK daily Points of Light award was first launched in April 2014 to recognise outstanding individuals making a difference where they live. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements, including hundreds of volunteers who have been recognised for how they have served their communities through the coronavirus pandemic.

Aleesha’s mother Pooja told Nottinghamshire Live:

“We are super proud of Aleesha for achieving so much in such a short space of time. We were excited when she received a letter from the Royal Family and Sir David Attenborough, but never thought she would receive an award from the Prime Minister! Cool Earth has also made her their first youth ambassador, which is an amazing thing for her to be a part of! Climate change is such a huge topic at the moment and with COP26 round the corner We hope that Aleesha will inspire other young children to make a small difference.”

Dr Helen Barsham, Headteacher of Hollygirt School said:

“Hollygirt School is so proud of our amazing student Aleesha. Aleesha campaigns tirelessly to make the world a greener place and is a wonderful role model to the whole school community. We are delighted that Aleesha is receiving this prestigious award. It is so very well-deserved.”

Conservative MP for Rushcliffe, Ruth Edwards congratulated Aleesha and said:

“I'm absolutely delighted to hear that Aleesha has been recognised as one of the Prime Minister’s Points of Light for all her amazing work to protect rainforests and raise awareness around climate change. I have had the pleasure of meeting Aleesha, who is currently raising money for 'Cool Earth', last month and I think she is setting a great example of what we can all do to help our environment. This award is truly well-deserved, and I can’t wait to see what’s next for Aleesha and her campaign.”


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