The community of Manchester High School for Girls has been remembering its much valued and very talented member, Daniella Sciama from Hale, who sadly passed away suddenly on the 3rd December 2013 at the age of 18.
As part of the School’s annual speech night celebrations held at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester recently, the ‘Daniella Sciama Award’ for outstanding achievement was presented in her honour.Daniella Sciama and brother Nicholas on Daniella’s 18th birthday.
Daniella’s family, who sponsored the award, attended the ceremony. Daniella’s mother, Mrs Michelle Sciama, said: “Daniella had been incredibly poorly for a long while. She spent large tranches of time away from school, either in hospital or convalescing at home, and was on a punishing regime of drugs that wiped out her immune system. This resulted in her asthma becoming ever more brittle and unpredictable.”
Mrs Sciama added: “The extraordinary thing about Daniella was her sheer determination and force of nature, and the grace and dignity with which she faced every challenge that was thrown her way. But when it came to the Manchester High speech night ceremony, Daniella just looked at me with despair and said ‘I’m not going mummy, I just can’t, I’m just going to have to sit and watch whilst everyone else goes up and receives an award when I never even had a chance to try and achieve one myself.’ The sheer despair and sense of helplessness that she felt at all the lost years and opportunities was palpable.
When Daniella passed, I came into her school to discuss a fitting way to honour Daniella and all she had stood for. We resolved to make sure that no other young lady in Daniella’s situation would ever feel like she did, or go unrecognised and unacknowledged for the extraordinary results they achieve in the face of challenges and adversity.
The Daniella Sciama Award for Outstanding Achievement was born out of this, and now, thanks to the exceptional love and care of staff at Manchester High School for Girls, Daniella’s award will be presented at the school’s speech night every year in perpetuity and in her honour.
Daniella’s legacy of striving for and achieving excellence, whatever the circumstance, will live on and continue to inspire and acknowledge generations to come.”
Daniella’s family have also funded the refurbishment of the school’s library quadrangle as a learning garden in memory of their daughter who loved to read, but as Mrs Sciama added, ‘loved to chat even more’. Both the school and the family agreed it was a fitting tribute to Daniella to create a space outside the library where pupils can go and study and spend time together. A memorial service to celebrate Daniella’s life was held in the garden last summer.
Mrs Claire Hewitt, head mistress at Manchester High School for Girls, said: “In Daniella’s short life she touched the lives of so many people and she achieved amazing things in the face of adversity. The presentation of the Daniella Sciama Award at our annual speech night and the learning garden are wonderful reminders of what a privilege it was to have Daniella as a member of the MHSG community.”