New award for students is lasting legacy of brave and inspirational Brierfield woman (33) who died from Motor Neurone disease

Pendle Vale College headteacher Steve Wilson presents the certificate received from the Motor Neurone Disease Association to the head of the student council.
Pendle Vale College headteacher Steve Wilson presents the certificate received from the Motor Neurone Disease Association to the head of the student council.

A special award has been created to ensure that a popular and well loved member of staff at a Pendle high school will always be remembered.

The Dani Wallace Trophy for Reading Excellence will be presented annually to students in key stage three who excel in their reading at Pendle Vale College in Nelson

The bravery of Dani Wallace, who fought Motor Neurone disease before her death aged just 33 earlier this year, inspired her friends and colleagues to raise over 6,000.

The bravery of Dani Wallace, who fought Motor Neurone disease before her death aged just 33 earlier this year, inspired her friends and colleagues to raise over 6,000.

The award reflects one of the favourite pastimes of Dani, who had worked at the school as an administration assistant, for over a decade.

A much loved and valued member of the team, Dani died in May at the age of 33 just a few months after doctors diagnosed her with Motor Neurone disease.

Dani’s colleague and close friend Laura Laycock, who works as a Assistant Curriculum Leader for modern foreign languages at the school, came up with the idea to take part in the Manchester 10k to raise funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association and several members of staff signed up for the event.

A number of the team walked the route, including Dani’s best friend, Rachel Sharman and her sister Megan and Dani’s sister-in-law Jo Tillotson.

The team who took part in the Manchester 10k to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The team who took part in the Manchester 10k to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The competitors were greeted at the finish line by Dani's husband, Lee along with her brothers, Paul and Carl, and other family and friends.

Keen to continue with their fund raising for the association in Dani's memory a series of events were held at the school including a wear your trainers to school day, cake and badge sales. And the school has been presented with a certificate from the MNDA as it has raised the grand total of £6,437.

Headteacher Steve Wilson said: "It is wonderful that we will have this hopefully longstanding legacy of Dani recognising young peoples' love for reading which was a passion of Dani’s.

"We are absolutely thrilled with the money raised for MNDA by both staff and students."

Dani grew up in Brierfield and attended the former Mansfield High School. Her and Lee were childhood sweethearts who tied the knot five years ago and Lee cared for her at their home in Barnoldswick as she bravely battled the devastating disease.