Emily wins top award for her campaigning

Emily Warrillow with actress Lucy- Jo Hudson.
Emily Warrillow with actress Lucy- Jo Hudson.

Passionate youngster Emily Warrillow who has campaigned fiercely for change across the Spen Valley has been honoured.

The inspirational 15-year-old, from Cleckheaton, was presented with a Diana Award on Wednesday at a ceremony in Leeds.

Diana Awards recognise outstanding young people who have tried to improve the lives of others.

The youngster was praised by organisers for her successful campaign to get the dangerous Maccess building demolished, which was backed by late MP Jo Cox.

Emily said: “Without Jo I would not be here today. She was a massive support to my campaign. She was an inspiration to me, always there for advice or support.

“I wish Jo was here to see me collect my award and celebrate me, she has taught me to fight for what you believe in no matter how hard it gets.”

After collecting her award, Emily said she would keep campaigning to improve the area.

Her battle to demolish the derelict danger site on Nibshaw Lane took centre stage in 2015 after she presented a petition to Kirklees Council.

She worked alongside local councillors, then-developer Michael Singh and Jo during the campaign.

And the project secured the go ahead from council planners early this year for demolition.

Emily was among 75 young people from across Yorkshire to receive a Diana award this week.

The ceremony, which took place at Leeds College of Music, was led by special guests former Coronation Street star Lucy-Jo Hudson and BBC reporter Danielle Hewson.