Aylsham High students find their voice

The outstanding orators of the future cut their teeth in front of an impressed crowd at Aylsham High School on Thursday.

Ten young people from the school took part in the final of the Voice of Youth in Aylsham public speaking competition, sponsored by Aylsham Rotary Club.

And it was the youngest entrants who led the way, with a polished performance by 11-year-old Florrie Crass securing first place and a prize of �100.

All of the students gave three-minute presentations on the theme 'I Can Make a Difference'.

Rebecca Hibberd, 12, took second spot and a �75 prize, while 14-year-old Alice Gaudet was third, winning �50. The remaining seven contestants - George Wilson, 12, Jacob Bunn, 15, Tiggy Wilkes, Katherine Palmer, 15, Shannon Wiseman, 14, Danielle Peacher, 13, and Shaun Taylor, 13.

The event, the second in what is intended to be an annual series, was judged by Norfolk deputy lieutenant Paddy Seligman, EDP education correspondent and North Norfolk news deputy chief reporter Steve Downes and Aylsham Rotary president Josie Holladay.

The master of ceremonies was Rotary Club member Ian Stevenson.

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Before the competition, and again during a break, the audience listened to the piano-playing of school student Nicholas Hewetson.

Mrs Seligman presented the prizes, and headteacher Duncan Spalding closed the proceedings with a congratulatory speech.

All enquiries about the Rotary Club of Aylsham to President Josie Holladay on 01263 731542.