Sunday Times Secondary School of the Year 2023

St. Mary's Grammar School


On Tuesday 7 May 2024, St. Mary’s Grammar School, in association with the Northern Trust and Cruse Bereavement Support, hosted an awards presentation to mark the conclusion of the ‘HeART of Palliative Care’ project.

The project began in March by engaging Year 10 pupils in a Grief Ally workshop facilitated by Eleanor Ellerslie (Cruse Children and Young Person’s Project Manager) and Edel McCann (Community Palliative Care Social Worker).  Following the workshop, pupils were invited to take part in an art competition to design the cover of a bereavement card to be used by the Community Specialist Palliative Care Service working within the Mid-Ulster area.  All competition entries were displayed in Meadowlane Shopping Centre for public voting and were judged by a panel of local artists and service user families.  

Pupils who entered the competition were invited to the awards presentation during which they received a Certificate of Participation, as well as a Starbucks voucher.  They were: Romeo Beggs, Aoife Brennan, Aideen McNally, Hannagh Heasley, Erin McIvor, Caoimhe Wright, Corey Heatherington, Maya Gribbin, Caoimhe O’Donnell, Eabha Scullion and Ciarrai McManus.

Congratulations to Imogen Cleary-Vong (First Place), Zuzanna Zarychta (Second Place) and Dan McCloskey (Third Place) who were announced as the competition winners and whose artwork has now been used in the production of three bereavement cards.  The winning pupils also received a certificate and a gift voucher. 

Speaking at the awards presentation, Mr Quinn (Senior Leader) said: “I would like to thank each of the pupils who took the time during the Easter break to prepare their submission and commend, not only their artistic flair and talent, but also their level of reflection and consideration in handling the theme with such sensitivity and maturity.” 

Fiona Gilmour (Macmillan Palliative Care Service Improvement Lead) commented: “This has been an exciting opportunity to engage with local young people on this important topic, to help increase their awareness and understanding of grief and loss and promote compassionate peer support to those who experience bereavement.”

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