A CARING 16-year-old who raised thousands of pounds for a cancer charity after losing her grandmother to the disease has been named the first ever Nelson Mandela Student of the Year at a Newport high school.

St Julian’s School, which surprised Jay Malpas with the award yesterday morning, has also put her forward as UK Student of the Year for her tireless charity campaigning and volunteering at St Anne’s Hospice, which looked after her grandmother Yvonne George, 82, before she died last year.

The new award was set up in the wake of the death of ex-South Africa president, Nelson Mandela, a person who the school felt changed the world through his campaigning for equal rights. In November Jay jumped out of an aeroplane at 13,000 feet to raise cash and, as well as volunteering at the hospice, has organised a string of fundraising events, bringing in thousands of pounds. Last year the sixth former raised more than £1,400 with a ceilidh in Newport and regularly helps out at barbecues and bag packing events to raise cash for the hospice, sometimes encouraging her friends to help out. Speaking about her grandmother’s experience at St Anne’s Hospice, Jay said: “We were really close. She wasn’t there for very long but they looked after her.”